By Farooq Kasule
The sureties of fugitive activist Kakwenza Rukirabashaija face sh40m fine if they fail to produce him in court on April 11.
Kakwenza left the country about two months ago after Buganda Road Chief Magistrate Dr Douglas Singiza released him on bail on charges of offensive communication.
The charge of offensive communication is from Section 25 of the Computer Misuse Act, 2011 and it elicits a maximum punishment of year or a fine not exceeding sh480, 000 on conviction.
Kakwenza was released on a cash bail of sh500,000 while each of his four sureties was bonded at sh10m not cash. If each of the four sureties fails to produce him in court, each will have to pay sh10m to be discharged.
Under the law, once a suspect absconds from the temple of justice, it is incumbent upon the surety to produce him or her in court or else the bond money automatically materialises into cash.
A surety can only escape liability if he or she goes back to court and requests to be formally discharged and this requires an accused person to get another surety lest his or her bail is cancelled.
Kakwenza’s sureties are opposition National Unity Platform Secretary-General David Lewis Rubongoya, lawyer Julius Galisonga, Kololo Secondary School teacher Annah Ashaba, and activist Job Kiija.
Court has also summoned them to appear in court on April 11 to explain his whereabouts.
Kakwenza issued with warrant of arrest
On Wednesday, March 23, Singiza issued a warrant of arrest against Kakwenza after he was a no-show in court.
The warrant of arrest was issued against him at the request of the court’s resident state attorney, Joan Keko, to have him arrested and face the law.
The prosecution alleges that on December 24, 2021, in Kampala district, Kakwenza willfully and repeatedly used his Twitter handle @KakwezaRukira to disturb the peace of President Yoweri Museveni with no purpose of legitimate communication.
In another count, Kakwenza is accused of disturbing the peace of the commander of the land forces Lt. Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba, with no purpose of legitimate communication.
In regard to Muhoozi, it is alleged that on December 26, 2021, Kakwenza willfully and repeatedly used his Twitter handle @KakwezaRukira to disturb his peace.
Who is Kakwenza?
Kakwenza was born on November 1, 1988. He is not only a renowned critic of government, but a self-proclaimed opposition figure.
He has written several books in which he does not only attacks the person of the President and members of the First family, but also the entire Government in general.