MP Zaake freed from Gulu prison

Opposition supporters led by Kyadondo East MP and musician Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine burst in celebration, singing the highly political song “Tuliyamba Engule” as Mityana Municipality MP Francis Zaake walked out of the High Court buildings in Gulu.

The youthful MP had spent a week on remand at Gulu prison over treason charges related to the August 2018 fracas in Arua Municipality which allegedly resulted into the stoning of President Yoweri Museveni’s motorcade on the last day of the Arua Municipality by-elections.

Zaake was part of Kyagulanyi’s entourage that was in Arua to campaign for the eventual winner Kassiano Wadri while Museveni was campaigning for NRM Nusura Tiperu.

Zaake arrest last week made him the 36th suspect on the charge sheet currently before the Gulu Magistrate’s court.

Today, Gulu High Court judge Stephen Mubiru granted him a non-cash bail of Shs 5 million but with a condition that he has to report to court every month with effect from March 14 when he returns to court with his other co-accused for the mention of their case.

 

His sureties that included his fiance Bridget Namirembe Ndagire, Butambala MP Muhammad Muwanga Kivumbi and a one Daniel Mugambwa were each bonded at Shs 10 million not cash.

Prosecution led by Gulu resident state attorney Patrick Omiya had objected to Zaake’s bail application on grounds that he is known for skipping lawful summons for which he was charged in Arua last week but the judge agreed with defence lawyer also Busiro East MP Medard Lubega Sseggona who argued that as a suspect, Zaake a fundamental right to bail.

The fully packed courtroom during the hearing of Zaake’s bail application

On the treason charge sheet in Gulu, Zaake joins his Parliamentary colleagues Kyagulanyi, Wadri,  Paul Mwiru (Jinja Municipality East) Gerald Karuhanga (Ntungamo Municipality), and former Makindye East MP Michael Mabikke among others.

Zaake was driven to court atop a lorry truck with others prisoners and was whisked away into the court’s holding rooms.

He waved to several of his opposition colleagues that included his co-accused plus MPs Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda (Kira Municipality), Latif Ssebaggala (Kawempe North), Gilbert Olanya (Kila), Patrick Nsamba Oshabe (Kassanda South) and Allan Ssewanyana (Makindye West).