SEPTEMBER 17, 2009: President Wrong On Bail for Riot Suspects

President Wrong on Bail

SOURCE: Monitor


President Museveni wants the judiciary to deny bail to those arrested on suspicion of involvement in last week's riots as he told the nation during his televised address to Parliament on Tuesday.

The right to bail is enshrined in the Constitution under Article 23, Clause 6 (a); the same Constitution gives the discretion to courts of law to determine whether a particular suspect can be bailed or not.

 The President has no power to change or overrule what is stated in the supreme law of the land--the Constitution--though he can seek amendments through the laid down procedure. It is a contradiction for the same President, who wants the law on bail to be ignored, to also be arguing that those unhappy with the blocking of the Kabaka's trip to Kayunga should have gone to court.

It is important to note that though we appreciate the effort of the security forces in quelling the riots and containing the destruction, there were many extremely disturbing scenes on the extent the security personnel went to arrest suspects.

The President should not seek to use his call for bail denial to cover for some of the extremities in handling of the suspects.

Continued beating of suspected rioters even after they had been subdued and surrendered are justifiably of grave concern...

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