A section of Ugandans have formed a steering committee aimed at bailing out a prominent journalist Simon Muyanga Lutaaya from prison.
The committee dubbed “Save Simon Muyanga Lutaaya from jail” will spearhead a drive to raise Shs57m out of Shs300m that was slapped on him as costs in an election petition he lost to Bulamogi county MP, Kenneth Lubogo.
The committee comprises of six members; Asuman Kiyingi the former State Minister for Works being the Chairman, Luganda Mutyaba as the Vice Chairperson, Salamu Musumba voted as the treasurer, Kungu Ahmed as the Publicity, Joseph Tamale Mirundi and Sam Ibanda Mugabi as members.
The Committee is however concerned that the heavy court costs charged against people who have lost election petitions may spoil the growing country’s democracy
Muyanga was arrestedon Mondayafternoon and sentenced to six months in prison by the grade one magistrate in Jinja.
But while addressing the media in Kampala Tuesday evening, the Chairman of the Steering Committee Asuman Kiyingi said it’s unfortunate that one of the young promising politician in the country is put into jail before fulfilling his dreams.
Kiyingi said it’s high time for all the well-wishers to join in contributing towards the cause. He said the drive will be climaxed by a grand fundraising event in Bulamogi Countyon Saturday.
The former Minister also said there is need to amend the electoral law to have a limit on the amount of money charged as court costs out of an election petition. He argued the current trend is likely to block many people seeking for justice.
Meanwhile a group of journalists under their umbrella body, Press Freedom Forum have also started making contributions towards the campaign.
Simon Muyanga Lutaaya is one of the prominent senior journalists in the country who has served a number of media Houses including NBS Television, Sanyuka TV, Salamu TV, CBS FM and a number of radio stations in Jinja.
He started his political career by representing the people of Jinja Central division to the Jinja district Council, contested for MP in Jinja West in 2011 before proceeding to contest for MP seat in Bulamogi County in Kaliro district in 2016.