Lwakataka’s lawyer Storms Out of Court as Bail Application is Rejected

Masaka high court was thrown into confusion this morning when city lawyer Hassan Kamba stormed out in protest after Justice Margaret Oguli turned down the bail application of his client.

Ponsiano Lwakata with his lawyer Hassan Kamba who protested against bail dismissal
Ponsiano Lwakata with his lawyer Hassan Kamba who protested against bail dismissal

 

Kamba is the legal representative of rally ace Ponsiano Lwakakata who is battling murder charges.  Lwakakata was remanded to Masaka government prison in September last year after he was implicated in the murder of Steven Mugambe, the Pastor of Kyebe Pentecostal church and eight members of his family on January 13th 2013.

Lwakataka is accused of conniving with Asuman Muddu to murder Pastor Mugambe and his family members. The victims were hacked to death by assailants who dug a hole through the wall of their house to gain entry.

Last week, Lwakataka applied for bail through lawyer Hassan Kamba on ground of ill health. Kamba presented medical forms from Masaka Hospital indicating that his client was suffering from hypertension, acute ulcers, back pain, general body weakness and liver infection.

He told court on Thursday last week, that Lwakataka’s health had deteriorated since he was remanded last year adding that, prison authorities had failed to attend to him.

He presented Moses Kasibante, the Lubaga North MP, Moses Rashi Ssenyonga, the Kyotera Town Council LC III chairperson and Dr. Deo Kizito, the former Kakuuto County MP candidates as sureties for his clients.

Kamba also surrendered titles of Lwakataka’s property in Kyotera and Kawempe to court as a guarantee that he wouldn’t skip bail.

However, Simon Ssemalemba, the Principal State Attorney rejected the application saying the medical reports were forged.

He argued that, the medical report neither showed details of Lwakataka’s medical condition nor contact or name of the medical officer who authored it.  This morning, Justice Margaret Oguli dismissed the application saying it had no merit.

She noted that Lwakataka had failed to prove the exceptional circumstances, which would compel court to grant him.

She explained that despite the fact that, Lwakataka’s medical forms were purportedly from Masaka Hospital, court had established that they are fake.

Justice Oguli also said that although Lwakakata had presented sureties and copies of land titles of his property in Kawempe and Kyotera as guarantees for his bail application, they were insufficient.

She noted that, the magnitude of the crime and need to protect society out-weighed the applicants demand for bail. Justice Oguli also accused Kamba, Lwakata’s lawyer of quoting several sections form Kenyan Constitution, which she said wasn’t binding in Uganda.

She therefore ordered the suspect be returned to prison and asked prosecution to speed up investigations to ensure his trial starts as soon as possible.

However, the ruling didn’t go down well with Kamba. He shot up in court and accused the Judge of setting the bar so high for his client. He asked her to suspend the case saying he is taking it to the constitutional court before storming out of court in a furious mood and drove off. Some of Lwakataka’s lawyers accused Kamba of not helping his client.

Moses Sseruwu, who claims to be Lwakakata’s cousin, asked him to sack Kamba saying he is simply forging documents yet court wants evidence.

Sseruwu wondered how a learned lawyer like Kamba would go and start forging medical documents from Masaka Hospital. He also said the reacting by the lawyer before court means that their relative will never get bail.

Last week, Eleazer Mugisha, the Administrator Masaka Hospital Principal disowned the medical report presented before court.

He said they cannot fail to treat Ulcer, hypertension and back-pain. Previous attempts by Lwakatata to get bail were also kicked out by could for lack of evidence to prove his exceptional health condition.