11 NUP Supporters Face High Court Trial over Terrorism

The government alleges that it has enough proof to link 11 supporters of the National Unity Platform (NUP) with charges of terrorism and the production of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). The suspects, including Abdu Katumba, Abudallah Katumba, Muhamud Kalyango, Hamidu Ssekidde, and Issa Makumbi, were remanded since May 2023 and were committed to the International Crimes Division (ICD) of the High Court on April 19, 2024, to face trial for allegedly planning to use the IEDs in a riot aimed at overthrowing President Museveni's government.

 Other suspects, including Umar Magala, Rashid Ssebagala, Sulaiman Male, Wilber Kairugala, Hamidu Muyodi, and Salim Ssekabembe, are also mentioned.

The state accuses the suspects of organizing riots on May 8, 2023, with the intention of staging a coup to remove President Museveni, who has been in power since 1986. The indictment claims that this was in support of Mr. Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, also known as Bobi Wine, to become president of Uganda, which is deemed a violation of the Anti-terrorism Act of 2002. The state further alleges that the suspects' actions were intended to influence the government or intimidate the public for political and economic gain without regard for public safety. 

Police investigators claim that the group, known as 'Go slow, Bobi Wine ahead,' was formed in March 2023 and is led by someone named Ali residing overseas. Some members allegedly attended paramilitary training in Mende Sub County in Wakiso District. The group is said to have purchased materials for making IEDs from Nakasero market in Kampala, including nails, empty bottles, petrol, charcoal, welded nails, electric detonator pieces, and batteries.

The police apprehended the suspects after analyzing phone call data records and creating a communication matrix for their mobile lines. Photographs of the crime scenes were taken, and the accused reportedly confessed in their police statements. Despite claims of fabricated evidence by the defence lawyers, Ms. Shamim Malende and Mr. Elias Luyimbazi Nalukoola, the accused await the setting of a hearing date by the ICD court to defend themselves against the charges.

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