• Sun. May 28th, 2023

UGANDA, Tooro Real Muloodi News | Rev. Willy Kintu Muhanga, the former Mayor of Fort Portal City, and his five co-accused have been granted bail after being remanded to Katojo Government prisons on April 2nd.

The co-accused who were arrested and charged with inciting violence and holding an unlawful assembly include David Musinguzi, Patrick Kasoro, Chris Tusiime, Henry Kyomuhendo, and Thomas Kakuru.

The six had been arrested as they moved in some parts of Fort Portal City and Kabarole District holding meetings to “pray for unfulfilled government pledges.”

West Rwenzori police spokesperson, Vincent Twesige, said they received intelligence information about a planned demonstration organized by Rev Muhanga and others who were mobilizing 10,000 people to march across Fort Portal City crusading against unfulfilled pledges by President Museveni.

The unfulfilled pledges include an industrial park, the construction of Kijura Road, and the reconstruction of Buhinga Stadium and Kazingo Security Road and Saaka Road.

Public call for a prayer session which was intended to break the curses and chains of unfulfilled pledges made by the NRM government to Tooro
The public call for a prayer crusade intended to break the curses and chains of unfulfilled pledges made by the NRM government to Tooro. Image source: Twitter/Alliance for National Transformation

The six individuals had been remanded to Katojo Government prisons on Friday, April 2, after their arrest at the National Agricultural Research Organization-NARO offices in Kyembogo, Rwengaju sub-county on Wednesday, March 29. However, their lawyer, Robert Mugabe, applied for bail, which was granted on Thursday.

Daphine Ayebale, the Fort Portal Grade I Magistrate, granted the accused a cash bail of 500,000 Shillings each and non-cash bail of three million for each of their sureties. The magistrate also warned the accused against engaging in any activities that could lead them to trouble with the law while observing their bail terms.

The case has been adjourned until April 11th, giving the accused time to prepare their defense.

About the Pledges

In 2012, President Museveni made a pledge to tarmack the 30km Fort Portal-Kijura Road. The promise was reiterated in 2013 during a meeting with district leaders from the Rwenzori Region at his country home in Rwakitura.

However, as of March 30, 2021, the road has only undergone maintenance by Unra, and it becomes nearly impassable on rainy days.

The Kabarole Agro-Industrial Park was commissioned under the Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) programme in 2018. Still, four years later, construction has stalled due to a land dispute between Kabarole District local government and the land occupants, Rwebitaba Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute.

The industrial park was set to be constructed on 100 acres of land just a few meters away from Rwebitaba ZARDI headquarters. The industrial park was supposed to be implemented under the agri-led programme for the Rwenzori region, aimed at achieving value addition on agricultural products.

Although the same road appeared in the ruling NRM party manifesto in 2021, there has been little progress in fulfilling the pledge.

The lack of development and fulfillment of government promises led to frustration and the prayer protests by the group led by Rev. Willy Kintu Muhanga, who were were subsequently arrested and granted bail for inciting violence and holding an unlawful assembly.

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