The freedom of former Flying Squad Unit boss Herbert Muhangi was yesterday short-lived after security operatives rearrested him soon after he was released on bail by the General Court Martial sitting in Makindye, Kampala.
Immediately after Muhangi left the dock, he went straight to the court registrar’s office and signed bail forms. Thereafter he went out and interacted with his relatives. Later, Muhangi returned to the court cells, where plain-clothes operatives picked him and dragged him to a waiting white double cabin, which sped off to an unknown destination.
The relatives, who jubilated in court after Muhangi was granted bail, were left stranded. Some drove away, while others converged near the court canteen before leaving. However, New Vision could not establish whether Muhangi was rearrested over other offences or was being offered a lift. Clad in a black pair of trousers and a white shirt with a black coat, Muhangi, who arrived in court at about 9:30am, was led to court cells and later entered the dock upon which he was granted bail. Army spokesperson Brig.
Richard Karemire said he was not aware of the arrest since he had another engagement at the defence ministry headquarters in Mbuya, Kampala. Efforts to get a comment from court registrar Maj. John Bizimana and Internal Security Organisation (ISO) boss Col (rtd) Frank Kaka Bagyenda failed as they were not picking their calls. Muhangi’s lawyer Maj. Charles Ssekayita also said he was not aware of the arrest.
“I am just from court and I do not know if he has been rearrested.”
Muhangi, who has been in custody at Makindye Military Police Barracks for seven months on charges of failure to protect war materials, was granted a non-cash bail of sh10m, while his sureties were each bonded at sh5m not cash. The sureties are Police human resource management boss Emmanuel Muhairwe, ACP Elvis Byamugisha and Makerere lecturer Robert Kakuru.
Why re-arrested & Bail terms
Lt Gen. Andrew Gutti released Muhangi on grounds that he is suffering from peptic ulcers and needed immediate medical attention.
“Basing on the fact that the applicant is suffering from ulcerations which are in advanced stages and require adequate medical attention, and the fact that he has no known criminal record in the Police force where he is at the rank of assistant commissioner, I am inclined to release him on bail,” Gutti ruled.
The court chairman also ruled that Muhangi’s sureties were substantial and as the sole breadwinner of his family, he was entitled to his constitutional right. However, Muhangi was barred from travelling beyond Kampala without court’s permission. He was also directed to report to the court registrar twice in a month for renewal of his bail.
“If you fail to abide by the bail conditions, your bail will be cancelled,” Gutti warned.
Muhangi is facing two counts of failure to protect war materials and one of aiding the kidnap and illegal repatriation of Rwandan nationals alongside six senior Police officers, including former Police boss Kale Kayihura.