Three men accused of unlawful possession of teargas canisters have appeared before the Buganda grade one magistrate Simon Kintu. They are Ronald Ssekandi, Hassan Kabugo and Abdullah Ssegitu.
Tear gas is a non-lethal chemical weapon that stimulates the corneal nerves in the eyes to cause tears, pain and even blindness. It is usually carried and used by the anti riot police against demonstrators to bring order and peace amidst chaos.
Prosecution heard on Tuesday that, on March 25 this year at Jinja Stage in the old taxi park in Kampala, the suspects were found in possession tear gas without a valid firearms certificate, in breach of Section 3(2) a of the firearms Act.
The Fire arms Act of 1970 states that any person who purchases, acquires or possession any firearm or without holding a valid firearm certificate, or fails to comply with any condition, subject to which a firearm certificate is held by him or her, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years or to a fine not exceeding twenty thousand shillings or to both.
The suspects pleaded not guilty to the charges and were remanded to Luzira prison until April 25 as they lacked substantial sureties to bail them out. This has been one of the rare offenses committed and brought before the court in the recent past.