By Mugisha James
Kampala. Three comedians popularly known by their stage name Bizonto have been re-arrested this morning on charges of promoting sectarianism and offensive communication.
Julius Sserwanja also known as Kidomoole, Mbabaali Maliseeri aka Uncle Luyuguumo, and Gold Ki Matono known as Opeto were arrested from Radio Simba over a satirical skit which, according to the government was used to promote sectarianism. Their counterpart Sssaabakaaki Peter (Omuzinyuuzi) was not found at the station at the time of their arrest.
They were first arrested in July last year after producing and circulating a skit titled “who are our leaders,” in which they mockingly prayed for Uganda’s top leaders. The seven-minute skit which was uploaded on July 15, 2020, on YouTube, started with a musical and in it, the group members listed all person’s who are holding key positions in Electoral Commission, Uganda Revenue Authority, Uganda Prisons, Uganda National Roads Authority, National Social Security Fund, Bank of Uganda, Ministry of Finance, Internal Security Organisation – headed by individuals who all hail from western Uganda.
They listed President Museveni, the Chief of Defence Forces Gen David Muhoozi, and Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba, the senior presidential advisor on special operations back then. The others they listed are Bank of Uganda Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile, Ministry of Finance Permanent Secretary Keith Muhakanizi, the Commissioner-General of Prisons Dr Johnson Byabashaija, The Minister of Security Gen Elly Tumwine, Internal Security Organisation boss Col Bagyenda Kaka, Chief of Military Intelligence Maj Gen Abel Kandiho, the Commander of the Special Forces Command Maj Gen James Birungi, and the Electoral Commission chairperson, Justice Simon Byabakama Mugenyi.
They added that although the known Inspector General of Police (IGP) is Martin Okoth Ochola, the actual police boss then was his deputy Sabiiti Muzeeyi, who also hails from the west. They said that because children were stuck at home following the closure of schools due to the coronavirus pandemic, they needed to be taught to always pray for their leaders.
CID spokesperson, Charles Twine, said that investigations into the matter are now complete and the team members will now be arraigned before Buganda Road Magistrate’s Court later today. The file has already been sanctioned by the Director of Public Prosecutions-DPP.
However, Julius Sserwanja who is also the group leader said they were shocked by the re-arrest which is pegged on skipping police bond because all of them have been reporting to Kabuli CID headquarters at times they were given. “We have been reporting at Kibuli, but whenever, we went there, the officers handling that case, told us the case was going to be closed anytime. They never signed anywhere, on paper, he said.
Section 41 of the Penal Code defines sectarianism as the practice of degrading or exposing to hatred or contempt or disaffection for anyone on the basis of religion, tribe, or ethnic or regional origin by utterance, printing, publication or performance any such act. According to the Penal Code whoever engages in such acts commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.
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