The Buganda Road Chief Magistrates Court has granted bail to Superintendent of Police Gilbert Arinaitwe Bwana who is facing charges of aggravated trafficking in person.
The Court presided over by Chief Magistrate Ronald Kayizzi on Friday granted Arinaitwe cash bail of 2 million shillings after finding that the charges against him are bailable and that the sureties he had presented were substantial to enable him to return to court and attend the trial.
The prosecution alleges that Arinaitwe and others still at large on June 23rd 2023 at Nalumunye Bandwe Kyengera Town Council in the Wakiso District, recruited, maintained, confined, transported and transferred or harboured, facilitated or received a 23-year woman (names withheld) by means of threat or use of force other forms of coercion or deception or abuse of power or position of vulnerability for the purpose of sexual exploitation or forced labour or involuntarily servitude or debt bondage.
Last week, he was arraigned in Court and denied the charges.
Arinaitwe who is attached to the Crime Intelligence of the Uganda Police through his lawyer James Njogu applied for bail on grounds that the offence with which he is charged was bailable and that he is the sole breadwinner of his young family.
He presented his mother Olive Bwana, Sandy Nicholas, a police officer and his cousin and his friend John Patrick Lukwiya as his sureties.
However, the Prosecution led by Senior State Attorney Ivan Kyazze had objected to Arinatiwe’s bail application saying he did not provide the court a copy of his National Identification card and Local Council One letter to confirm his residence.
He had told the court that it would be difficult to trace Arinaitwe in case he absconds from trial and that he had a likelihood of interfering with state witnesses once released.
In the ruling, Kayizzi took into account that Arinaitwe is a senior Police Officer who also brought his relatives, his mother and brother who is at the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Police and he has found them to be substantial enough to compel him to attend trial as and when required by the court.
Kayizzi directed him to pay 2 million Shillings cash and each of his sureties will execute a non-cash bond form of 10 million Shillings.
Kayizzi further ordered Arinaitwe to deposit his passport with the court so as to bar him from travelling outside the country without the permission of the court.
He adjourned the case to September 7th 2023 for an update on the progress of investigations as to whether the Prosecution is ready to start trial.
Arinaitwe rose to the limelight in 2011 during the Walk to Work protest when he pepper sprayed Dr Kizza Besigye after smashing the window of his car with a pistol at Mulago Roundabout in Kampala City.
Arinaitwe, who in 2015 was also in court over family violence, is this time around facing charges of aggravated trafficking in person. His victim alleges that she was subjected to sexual violence too.
According to Police’s preliminary investigations, the victim intimated to her friend how she had been raped more than seven times and confined with no or little food at all on top of being not paid a salary.
As a result, the investigations show that the friend contacted the area’s local defence secretary who moved to rescue the victim from Arinaitwe’s home and accompanied her to make a formal report at Nateete police station.
The victim is currently under the care of a Non-Governmental organization.
Once found guilty, the maximum sentence for aggravated trafficking in person is spending the remaining part of your natural life in prison.