A mother fainted out of joy on Tuesday afternoon shortly after the Makindye based UPDF General Court-martial released her son on bail. Aminah Nakayenga had accompanied her husband Samuel Nukungu and her daughter, Irene Nalumansi to stand surety for her son, Joshua Ntege, a former senior four candidate of Kireka High school.
Ntege was arrested on December 2nd 2021 from Kireka, a Kampala City suburb for wearing a red beret, which is gazetted as a monopoly of the Défense Forces. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and applied for bail before the Court-martial chairperson, Lt. General Andrew Gutti. He presented his mother Aminah Nakayenga, father Samuel Nukungu and his sister Irene Nalumansi as his sureties.
In his application, Ntege noted that the charges against him are bailable and that he is still presumed to be innocent until proven guilty. However, relying on the affidavit of Lt. Elly Musinguzi from the Special Investigations Bureau and Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence, the military prosecutors opposed the application, saying that being a student is not enough to warrant bail. They argued that bail is at the discretion of the Court.
In his ruling, Lt General. Gutti granted Ntege bail of Shillings 5 million not in cash and asked his sureties to execute non-cash bond of Shillings 10 million each. He also restricted Ntega from going beyond the boundaries of Kampala and Wakiso District without court permission.
Gutti also directed Ntege to report to Court twice a month after every 14 days on Wednesdays. Shortly after reading the bail conditions, Gutti asked Ntege whether he had understood the terms read to him in English and whether or not he needed them interpreted.
Ntege told Gutti that he understands Luganda, which him to shoot back, saying he would fail his final examinations if he doesn’t understand English. Gutti’s remarks sent the court into prolonged laughter. The judge advocate Col. Richard Tukacungurwa also wondered how it is possible that an S4 leaver doesn’t understand English.
Ntege’s mother Nakayenga couldn’t hold back her excitement following the release of her son. She ran outside the military court with tears rolling down her cheeks. She, however, collapsed shortly after forcing some of the people to lift her up and place her under a tree in the compound of the court.
Her husband got a piece of cloth, which he used to try and fan fresh air to his wife who lying speechless. A group of soldiers suggested that they call an ambulance to rushed Nakayenga to the hospital for emergency care.
She, however, rose up shortly and told them not to worry, saying she would be fine, adding that she collapsed because of high blood pressure. Nakayenga later told URN that she looked for her son for about two weeks last year without knowing where he was locked up.
She, however, said that she later received a phone call indicating that her son would appear before General Court Martial on charges of unauthorized use of military uniform.
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