Five out of the 15 students who were arrested last week and remanded for protesting against the increased prices of various commodities in the country have been granted bail by Buganda Road Magistrates Court.
The group is jointly charged together with ten others for staging an unlawful assembly at the Parliament of Uganda on May 5th 2022.
The accused students were last week on Thursday arrested when they gathered on their way to Parliament building to deliver a petition against the skyrocketing prices of commodities in the country and tuition fees.
As a result, they were intercepted by police outside the Parliament gate and arrested before producing them in court to face charges of unlawful assembly.
Five have been released on bail after their lawyers successfully convinced court that that they need to be temprarily freed so as to be able to sit for their exams. The five are Edrine Wafula, a student of Kyambogo University, Price Bbosa and Conmus Ndyamuhaki from Makerere University, Charles Kyeyune and Julius Rukundo from Makerere University Business School.
The others still in detention are: Carlos Kamya, David Musiri, Allan Ssekidde , Gerald Wenani , Megan Natukunda, Yuda Tadeo Kaye , Felix Igambi , Muhammad Kyazze , Martha Anviko and Emmanuel Angonvia.
Grade One Magistrate Siena Owomugisha granted the five bail after their lawyers led by Geoffrey Turyamusiima presented their request.
Turyamusiima also argued that the students are still presumed innocent until proven to be guilty adding that they have substantial sureties. They presented mostly their fellow students as their sureties.
As a result, they were each ordered to pay a cash bail of 200,000 shillings and their sureties were directed to execute a non-cash bond of 20 million shillings.
The case was later adjourned to May 12th 2022 for further hearing of bail applications for their co-accused who are still on remand in Luzira Prison.
The prices of different commodities such as soap, fuel and cooking oil started increasing around November 2021 with fuel having an increased price of 1,000 shillings, while laundry soap and cooking oil have had their prices almost doubling.
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s government has been attributing the increase of these prices mainly to COVID 19, which reportedly affected the production and as well as external factors like the war in Ukraine, one of the largest producers of the sunflower which is used in making cooking oil.
The government however has since appealed to the citizens to stay calm saying that the Bank of Uganda has since been directed to put in place measures aimed at stabilizing the economy and to make sure that the prices don’t shoot to unbearable levels.