Frank Gashumba released on Shs 20m bond

Social media critic and political commentator Frank Gashumba and his co-accused, Innocent Kasumba alias Simon Mutabazi and Ismail Kiyingi have been released on Shs 20m non-cash bond.

The trio, arrested last week by the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) has been charged with 14 counts including personation, unlawful possession of narcotic drugs, forgery.

According to the preferred charges, the trio is accused of forging stamps for various ministries of the government of South Sudan including ministry of Health, ministry of Education and Sports, ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, ministry of Justice.

Frank Gashumba (C) with his co-accused in the dock

They are also charged with conspiracy to commit a felony by obtaining money by false pretense when they offered contracts to Kolgvan M. Dirutop and Manu Meerscghman to supply trucks troop carrier, heavy machines, water tanks among others to Uganda's ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs.

The suspects are also accused of forging identity cards of Uganda's ministry of Defense and Veteran Affairs and illegal possession of narcotic drugs.

The army, through CMI, claimed that they had recovered two passports with Gashumba’s image but the travel documents bore different names.  

One had the name Frank Disans Sentongo, while the other had Franco Gashumba Malingumu. The army also claimed that at Gashumba’s house in Bunga they found various stamps, including one of the defence ministry.    

Emmanuel Musoke (former Kalungu chairperson, MP Joseph Ssewungu Gonzaga , John Kigozi Ssebagala (Kampala business man) stood surety for Gashumba. His lawyer, Dennis Nyombi said Gashumba's case has highlighted a problem of suspects being held without trial beyond the mandatory 48 hours.

Gashumba, also the chief executive officer at Sisimuka Uganda, a non-profit organisation was arrested on October 30, while Kasumba was picked up a day later.

Chief Magistrate James Ereemye adjourned the case to November 20.

© 2016 Observer Media Ltd