The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mike Chibita has dropped Treason charges against 19 Muslim suspects including one woman who have been on remand at Luzira prison since 2014.
According to a withdrawal letter dated 23rd/March 2018 the DPP said he is no longer interested in prosecuting the suspects and asked presiding High Court Judge Wilson Masalu Musene to set them free.
While presenting this letter to court, state prosecutor Thomas Jatiko has also dispelled fears that the suspects will be re-arrested soon after release by describing such fears as mere speculations from the defence team.
Even though he had listened to initial testimonies against the group, Justice Masalu agreed to discharge the suspects.
The 19 suspects include Aisha Nakasibante a sister in-law to Ugandan Austrian based cardiologist Dr. Aggrey Kiyingi, Hakim Kinene Muswaswa, Muzamilu Kasawuli, Arafat Serunjoji alias Bukenya, Alex Okot, Olanya Joseph alias Onekmon, Okidi Charles, RA 17019 Pte Arajab Mubaje alias Magombe Sulaiman.
Other suspects are Matanda Issa alias Charles, Haji Byamukama Abdul Ratif alias Tusiime, Asadu Ssemwogerere, Solomon Kibirige, Wadwali Safiyi alias Swafi Shafi, Yusuf Sentamu alias Kasibante, Muhamad Kolodo alias Kasibante, Ismail Ssentogo and Abonga Nick Frank alias Bongomin alias Joshua Alias Jossi.
They have been facing two counts of treason and concealment of treason in which prosecution had alleged that they contrived a plot to over throw the government of Uganda by use of firearms between years 2013 and 2015 at various places in Uganda, Dubai, Kenya and Tanzania.
Prosecution further stated that the accused expressed this plot through utterances, recruitment and training of rebels, acquiring satellite mobile phones for communication, motorcycles and vehicles for transport and also rented houses to act as safe houses to accomplish their mission.
Even though court ordered for the release of the group, three of the suspects including brother to incarcerated Sheikh Yunus Kamoga Sheikh Multa Mudde Bukenya and two brothers Amil Kinene and Hakim Kinene will be sent back to prison where they are serving other sentences after the international crimes division of the high court convicted them of terrorism relating to a spite of killings of Muslim clerics of a rival Muslim sect.
Story by Salmah Namwanje