Masaka Magistrates Court has today charged Rogers Mulindwa, a communications officer at the National Resistance MovementNRM Secretariat, with assault malicious damage to property. Mulindwa appeared before Grade Two Magistrate Adams Byarugaba in relation to a May 12, 2015 incident when he reportedly assaulted Edward Bindhe, a journalist working with Uganda Radio Network.
Mulindwa appeared before Grade Two Magistrate Adams Byarugaba in relation to a May 12, 2015 incident when Mulindwa reportedly assaulted Edward Bindhe, a journalist working with Uganda Radio Network.
The incident happened at Garden Courts Hotel located at Sazza in Katwe-Butego division in Masaka municipality.
Bindhe and other journalists had gone to cover the launch of sole candidate campaign for President Yoweri Museveni spearheaded by Justine Kasule Lumumba, the NRM Secretary General.
Prosecution alleges that when Bindhe entered the Hall where Lumumba had just started addressing the NRM members around the region, two NRM officials, a lady and gentleman, stopped him from recording and asked him to go out.
While outside, the two officials told him he was not allowed to cover the function since he had come after registration had ended.
A few minutes later, Mulindwa reportedly arrived and asked Bindhe to leave the Hotel on grounds that he was wearing a light blue shirt which indicated he was a spy from the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party.
Mulindwa is said to have grabbed the journalist by the neck, slapped him and dragged him out of the hotel. In the process, Bindhe's pair of spectacles was smashed.
The state attorney Joanita Kwikiriza told court that investigations were complete and that the key witnesses were available for cross examination.
Through his lawyer Isaac Kafeero, Mulindwa asked court to grant him bail on grounds that he is a first offender and that he has a constitutional right of applying for bail.
He presented three sureties including Joseph Kalungi, the Former Masaka LC5 Chairman, Sarah Nakyanzi, Masaka Municipality Deputy Mayor and Masaka district NRM registrar Joseph Mugerwa.
But State prosecution objected to the bail application on grounds that he had not presented any surety from his home in Wobulenzi. Prosecution explained that since Mulindwa's home is far away from court, there are high chances he would jump bail.
But lawyer Kafeero said since all the sureties are eminent Ugandans, his client cannot jump bail. He also said that since Mulindwa is the ruling NRM party communication officer, he will always be available.
Presiding Magistrate Adams Byarugaba agreed with Mulindwa's lawyer. He said he's convinced Mulindwa will not jump bail. He granted him a cash bail of 200,000 shillings and adjourned the case to November 8.
His three sureties were bonded at a non-cash bail of two million shillings each.
Byarugaba ordered prosecution to avail Mulindwa with all files related to this matter so that by the time hearing resumes, there will be no excuse.