By PATRICK JARAMOGI
KAMPALA, Uganda|SHIFTMEDIA| For 10 days soon after casting his vote on January 14, National Unity Platform Presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi was held under house arrest at his Magere home.
Now the High Court has today January, 25 ruled that his continued detention is illegal describing it as an infringement to his rights.
“The continued indefinite restriction and confinement of the applicant (Kyagulanyi) in his home is unlawful and in the result, his personal liberty has been infringed,” ruled High Court judge Michael Elubu ruled.
The Police and army have surrounded Kyagulanyi’s home since January 14 restricting him and his wife Barbara Itungo Kyagulanyi from leaving their house, let alone allowing any visitors inside.
According Police spokesman, CP Fred Enanga, the act was intended to stop Kyagulanyi from instigating riots in protest of the outcome of the elections.
The NUP ticket musician cum politician got 34% in the just concluded presidential elections, that he has described as a sham and full of massive rigging.
Incumbent Yoweri Museveni, 76, who has been in power since 1986, was declared the winner of the 14 January election with 59% of the vote against Mr Wine’s 35%.
Last week, National Unity Platform lawyers led by Medard Sseggona told court that it is wrong for security to confine Kyagulanyi in an ungazetted place indefinitely and without any justification.
For their (security) actions, tax payers will have to meet the costs that were awarded to Kyagulanyi by the High Court for his illegal detention.
Much as the state had argued that the confinement was meant to stop him from instigating riots in protest of the outcome of the elections, and also to prevent him from breaking the law when he organizes processions to violate the Coronavirus guidelines, justice Elubu noted that there was no evidence to the same, adding that if available, Kyagulanyi should be presented before courts of law and charged other than speculating on the same.
“These are all serious allegations of grave offences and it would be proper to follow the due process of the law in regards all the allegations made against the applicant. The due process has been defined as conducting criminal proceedings against the applicant.”
“The restrictions put on the applicant are unlawful and order that they are lifted. Consequently and order for personal liberty of the applicant is hereby issued.”
The judge explained in his ruling read by the court’s registrar that in absence of the proper procedure, it is only prudent that Kyagulanyi is allowed personal liberty and free movement.
The court however directed that Kyagulanyi should follow the Coronavirus guidelines put in place by government and the Ministry of Health.
“It is therefore ordered that the applicant(Kyagulanyi) shall comply with SOPs set by the authorities.”
Police complies, withdraws troops
Commenting on the court order, Police spokesman Fred Enanga said they were ready to withdraw from Kyagulanyi’s home but would continue to keep a close eye on all his movements.