Moments after being granted a Shs 50m non cash bail by court in Arua, Mityana Municipality member of parliament Francis Zaake Butebi was re-arrested and remanded to a prison in Gulu.
Zaake was arrested last night at around Clock Tower while on his way home. The arrest conducted by plain-clothed police officers follows failure by the MP to report to court to have his bond extended from December 5, 2018. Today, Friday, he appeared before the Arua Grade One Magistrate, Daniel Lubowa and charged with escape from lawful custody.
According to prosecution, Zaake, while in Arua last year, collapsed and was taken to Arua referral hospital but escaped from the sickbed undetected. Zaake has been arrested alongside several MPs and over 30 other civilians on allegations of stoning one of the vehicles of President Museveni's convoy.
Zaake was today granted a non-cash bail of Shs 50 million and his sureties included the LC III chairperson of Arua Hill Division, Nesmah Ocokoru and councillor, Bazaar Ward Isaac Akile.
However after he was granted bail, he was re-arrested outside the court premises by the police on charges of treason and whisked away to Gulu Magistrate's court. Appearing later before Gulu Grade I Magistrate Isaac Imron Kintu, Zaake was not allowed to enter plea.
Zaake who appeared in court limping was accompanied to court by Kassiano Wadri, the Arua Municipality member of parliament. Kintu then remanded him to Gulu central prison until March 14 when he will appear for mention of the case. He advised Zaake to apply for bail in High court, saying his court lacks jurisdiction over the capital offence with which Zaake is charged.
Patrick Omiya, the Gulu resident state attorney represented the state in the matter while Zaake was represented by Gulu based Human rights lawyer Henry Komakech Kilama. Kilama said that Zaake was examined for mental health from Gulu Central police station shortly after arriving aboard a police pickup vehicle registration number UP 4799 from Arua district.
Kilama said they will apply for bail on Monday next week. Zaake now becomes the 36th suspect charged with treason over the Arua chaos in which stones were pelted at Museveni's convoy back in August 2018.
The others are Kyadondo East member of parliament Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine, Jinja Municipality MP Paul Mwiru, Ntungamo Municipality MP Gerald Karuhanga, Arua Municipality MP Kassiano Wadri and former Makindye East MP Michael Mabikke, among others.