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Joseph Kabuleta released on police bond

Joseph Kabuleta

Joseph Kabuleta

Joseph Kabuleta is out on police bond. The former New Vision sports journalist and pastor of Watchman Ministries regained his freedom from the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) in Kireka on Tuesday evening. 

Police spokesperson Fred Enanga confirmed Kabuleta’s release from custody following his arrest on Friday last week for offensive communication. 

“That’s true. It is something that we agreed upon that when his file is not sanctioned within 48 hours. He becomes a beneficiary of police bond”, Enanga told URN on phone.  

Adding that, they had assured the public that Kabuleta would be released should he fail to appear in court soon. URN understands that the director of public prosecutions (DPP) Mike Chibita failed to sanction Kabuleta’s file in time, which left police without any option but to release him on bond.

His lawyer, Daniel Walyemera also confirmed Kabuleta’s release. He said Kabuleta was charged under Section 25 of the Computer Misuse Act, which talks about offensive communication. He said Kabuleta has been asked to report to SIU on Friday. 

Walyemera also noted that police decided to release his client to beat the habeas corpus application scheduled for hearing before justice Musa Ssekana on Wednesday.  

According to Walyemera, the most important issue to note is that Kabuleta’s constitutional rights have been violated since he was denied access to his lawyers, next of kin and doctor. Kabuleta’s release comes a few hours after his lawyers, Daniel Walyemera and Aggrey Mpola filed an application for his production in court.  

The two lawyers ran to the High court on Tuesday evening seeking orders compelling the commandant of the Special Investigations Unit Kireka, Elly Womanya, inspector general of police, Martins Okoth Ochola and the attorney general, William Byaruhanga to produce their client in court. 

Kabuleta was picked up by plain clothed detective from Cafe Drew and Jacs in Lugogo Forest Mall on July 12. He was bundled into a Toyota Wish Motor vehicle registration number UBB 459D. He is accused of posting an offensive message through "Kabuleta's Weekly Rants” on Facebook in which he allegedly referred to President Yoweri Museveni as a gambler, thief and liar.


Meanwhile more than 40 people donning T-shirts with the inscription Free Kabuleta “Freedom of Expression Online” stormed SIU in Kireka demanding his immediate release. The team that started converging at SIU from 8:30am pitched camp at the entrance and started exchanging words with police.  

Police only allowed in, a team of lawyers led by Walyemera to access Kabuleta and ordered the remaining group to wait from somewhere else. Drama unfolded when the group enclosed the place immediately before the police unit and started fellowshipping as they demanded for Kabuleta’s release. 

Kabuleta's supporters at SIU Kireka
They chanted "Free JK, Free JK", prompting the deployment of Anti-riot Police and Local Defense Unit. Police tried in vain to negotiate with the protesters to vacate the area, saying they don’t have permission to assemble. 

Evelyn Kasiri, one of the protestors said all they wanted were answers from police on why Kabuleta was still locked up beyond the mandatory 48 hours without appearing before court. Abraham Mirembe, one of the leaders of the Watchman Ministries, accused police of denying Kabuleta access to his expectant wife, doctor and lawyers in disregard of his rights.



0 #1 Karemire 2019-07-17 01:08
That pastor is a hot potato in their hands. By the harassing him, the police [in their collective wisdom or otherwise] is growing him into the status of a national politician, just as they transformed Bobi Wine to a possible president of the near future .

Well done, Dear Police.
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+1 #2 Lakwena 2019-07-17 10:04
The manner in which suspected citizens are these days being grabbed, arrested and/or kidnapped and clobbered by the state security apparatus is bewildering.

In other words, a show of unwarranted force is a sign of desperation, weakness and/or insecurity. No wonder, the regime in power is in a panic mode and conducting itself like a terror organization.

But many Ugandans have reached the tipping point, where they have already lost their fear of the regime terrorism. Kama mbaya ni mbaya.

Which is why in the political history of this country, Mr. M7 and family members are now the most brazenly insulted people.

In other words, it is high time the NRM leadership and sycophants read the writing on the wall.
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0 #3 Karemire 2019-07-17 10:05
Quoting Karemire:
That pastor is a hot potato in their hands. By the harassing him, the police [in their collective wisdom or otherwise] is growing him into the status of a national politician, just as they transformed Bobi Wine to a possible president of the near future .

Well done, Dear Police.

Further, the journalist seems to have the ear of a prominent member of the ruling family who [reportedly] advised another Gen like this " ...... “Gen Otema, let’s leave politics and we go for cows and cassava because all that politics is composed of, are lies....."

Would he be a witness in the journalist's case if it ever gets to court? I wonder!!
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0 #4 Odongkara 2019-07-18 05:48
It is a shame that the authorities fail to appreciate the pivotal role that respecting, protecting and promoting human rights plays in the country’s growth and development.
People should be free to criticise their government and its policies without fear of reprisals.

The Government of Uganda must publicly denounce the escalating harassment, intimidation and attacks on people simply for exercising their rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association, and stop attacks on critics.
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