Only one of three suspects in the Kaweesi murder case has managed to raise the Shs2m cash bail.
Umar Maganda is one the three charged with professing to belong to the ADF who were released on bail on Monday this week only to be sent back to Luzira after they failed to raise the two million shillings.
After a two days’ struggle, Maganda’s family paid up the money allowing court to issue a production warrant for him then he secured his temporary release to report to court from his home.
Maganda and two of his co-accused (Abdu Kala and Ahmed Ssenfuka) who are battling charges of murder in relation to fallen AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi and professing to belong to a rebel group were granted bail by grade one magistrate Noah Sajjabi on Tuesday.
These were however painfully driven back to Luzira after their families failed to immediately raise the set cash bail of two million shillings.
At court it was hugs and smiles when Umar Maganda finalised his bail process and was finally heading home. An uncomfortable Maganda told us in an interview that he was grateful for the temporary release.
“I thank God, the one who planned my release even if its temporary, this is a positive move towards my total freedom. I thank my lawyers for fighting for me and the judiciary for releasing me. I’m now going home to work.”
Maganda and his family were equally surrounded by tension following what happened to them the last time when state controversially re-arrested them. His however is a story shared by a number of other accused who cannot afford their bail fees.
“The cash bail is better than being denied bail there are many who cannot afford, like my two colleagues are still waiting,” he said.
Wameli Anthony says because it’s a common incident, there is provision for an applicant’s lawyer to return to the chief magistrate and ask for a reduction in the cash bail especially when his clients totally fail to rise quoted amount of money to help an accused secure his temporary release.
The group’s lawyer Anthony Wameli says the two million shillings has been a hustle for the families of his clients that the two are still stuck at Luzira only hoping that their families get money too.
“Those who didn’t pay were taken back but if they raise the money even today and there is proof in court of payment, then magistrate will issue a production warrant and when they complete the signing, they will be free,” he said.
With a bail term to report to the DPC every second Friday and return to court every two weeks for mention of charges, Umar who stays in Busia will have to undergo heavy costs in transport unless he gets a longer mention period.
“Transport will be a big challenge but its better than remand, so he will go to his DPC every second Friday of the month then on 23rdhe will return to court. We wish that if all are granted bail by then so that we ask for a longer mention period to cut down on transport fares.”