President insists bail for high level crime is wrong

Wednesday 20th February 2013

President Yoweri Museveni has called on residents of Rakai and Masaka to task their Members of Parliament to support the amendment of bail terms in high level crimes, at the time of tabling the bill in parliament. He explained that the move is geared towards reducing crimes.

The President was yesterday speaking at a fundraising ceremony for a new Church at St. James Kifamba Church of Uganda in Kakuuto Sub County in Rakai district. He was responding to insecurity concerns by residents following a series of mysterious murders which they said threatened their freedom of movement. Last month is a family in Katongero, Kyeebe village in Rakai was attacked by unidentified assailants, leaving nine family members murdered in cold blood. President Yoweri Museveni has proposed a change of the law to deny bail to suspects charged with corruption, terrorism, treason and defilement in the first 180 days on remand.

The proposal has been sent to the NRM Caucus and the Cabinet. The law would remove the discretionary powers of the judges to grant bail to suspects for certain crime categories. This follows desperation among the public that has led to increasing cases of mob justice where criminals have been granted bail and sent back to the communities where they committed the crime. The President said that police has continued to play its role of investigating and arresting the criminals but their effort is being frustrated by judicial officers who grant criminals bail thus sending them back to the community to cause disharmony. “Members of Parliament need to help me solve this problem of court granting bail to rapists, murderers, defilers and corrupt officials etc. I would love to see such culprits locked up for at least six months before bail is given,” he emphasized.

He commended them for the intensive farming they engage in adding that it will significantly enable them eradicate poverty in a short while. He however promised to visit them again in order to equip them with more modern farming tips. Addressing the issue of HIV/AIDS, the President urged the residents to desist from exposing themselves to the pandemic adding that the development they have attained will be rendered meaningless if there are no healthy people to guarantee it’s continuity. He advised students to continue abstaining until marriage and to avoid multiple sexual partners during their marriage life. He contributed 20 million cash and pledged another 20 million towards the church project.

In another development, President Museveni has commissioned St. Luke Catholic Complex at Manya in Kifamba sub county Rakai district. St Luke complex is an Austrian funded multi-million project that houses numerous development projects including a health centre, primary and secondary education facilities, poultry and coffee farming projects aimed at improving living conditions of the residents. The managing director of Cotton–On foundation for development, the organization behind these developments Mr.Tim Diamond highlighted some of their major challenges including lack of power, the poor state of roads around the complex, and the high cost of maintaining the health centre. He called for government support to sustaining the project.

The President, who was visibly impressed by the project, commended the team for the great work, pledging government support in addressing the challenges raised. According to the residents, the project is very supportive as it offers them employment opportunities, free and better health and academic services. The Minister for Tourism and woman Member of Parliament for Rakai district Maria Lubega Mutagamba commended the President for the development and renovation of numerous schools in Rakai and Masaka districts.

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