Former Security Minister, Lt General Henry Tumukunde has been granted Shillings 50 million non-cash bail by Justice Wilson Kwesiga, the Head of the High Court Criminal Division.
The temporary freedom was granted on Monday morning after he presented sureties including his wife, Stella Tumukunde, Brother Hanninngton Karuhanga and family friend, Matthew Rukikaire who are bonded at Shillings 50 million not in cash.
Tumukunde, who is standing trial for treason and illegal possession of firearms was also ordered to deposit his passport with court and report to the High Court Registrar once each month for the extension of his bail on the treason charges.
He will also appear before the Senior City Hall Grade One Magistrate, Valerian Tumuhimbise on May 20th for the extension of his bail on charges of illegal possession of firearms.
Justice Kwesiga also dismissed the objection raised by the State Prosecutor, Lino Anguzu to Tumukunde’s bail application citing incomplete investigation, saying the habit of arresting, charging and remanding accused person before completing investigations should stop.
The Judge noted that he had looked at the Search Certificate of March 13 presented by the state that clearly shows that the necessary exhibits were recovered and noted that it is more than 60 days since police was named as essential service providers by President, Yoweri Museveni, which is sufficient time for the force to have completed investigations.
On March 12th, Tumukunde was picked from his home in Kololo arraigned before City Hall Magistrate’s Court for treason and illegal possession of firearms. He was then remanded to Luzira prison from where he applied for bail through his lawyers Anthony Wameli, Alex Luganda and Geoffrey Turyamusiima on grounds of advanced age and that he was a presidential aspirant and needed time to consult on his political ambition.
Tumukunde further argued that he has a permanent place of residence in Kololo. However, he was left in shok when on April 14th, 2020, Justice Kwesiga said he would consider Tumukunde's application after the lock down and advised him to get sureties above his rank, which is serving Generals.
Tumukunde’s lawyers who were joined by criminal law don McDusman Kabega however filed an application for a relaxation of the bail conditions, saying they had failed to secure officers above his rank since he is no longer a serving officer and that the lock down was mostly likely to be indefinite because of two extensions.
Tumukunde had prior to his arrest announced his intention to join presidential race in 2021 as a candidate and had been granted permission by the electoral commission to consult on the same.
Tumukunde also did a few TV appearances defending his decision to join politics, despite his history with President Yoweri Museveni. Today, the 2021 election hangs in balance with the current pandemic that has left the country on lockdown and the entire world in confusion as scientists work day and night to find a cure.