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Ugandan court denies bail to 36 supporters of Bobi Wine party

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The Ugandan military court has for the second time denied bail to 36 members of the opposition party, the National Unity Party.

The 36 members of the opposition party were arrested last December during the campaign rally of the musician-turned-politician Bobi Wine in central Kampala.

Among those arrested include Wines music partner Ali Bukeniare and bodyguard Edward Ssebufu who are facing charges of illegal ownership of ammunition.

At least 13 out of 49 of those arrested were granted bail by the same military court though their movements were restrained.

“This court finds the sureties for suspects whose bail application was not objected to by the state substantial. There is merit in their bail application and the case is bailable. However the 13 accused should not go beyond the boundaries of Kampala and Wakiso districts,” the court said.

Most suspects were charged with six counts, including inciting violence and assaulting police officers on duty, among others.

Those released had to pay non-cash bail of $5,400 and their sureties were each bonded $13,500 not cash.

The 38-year-old singer-turned-lawmaker Bobi Wine came a distant second behind veteran leader Museveni in the January 14 vote that followed some of Uganda’s worst pre-election bloodshed in years.

Lawyers Bobi Wine filed a challenge in the Supreme Court on February 4 against President Yoweri Museveni’s victory in last month’s election, claiming the poll was rigged.

Civil society activists have criticized the parameters for challenging Ugandan elections, with judges only examining events on voting day and the declaration of results, without also taking into consideration the overall campaign period.