UPDF officers arrest Lwakataka at Masaka Court

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MASAKA- There was drama at Masaka High Court on Friday during the arrest of rally driver Ponsiano Lwakataka by UPDF officers.

Lwakataka had gone to court to pick his wife and brother who had been granted bail.

Masaka Chief Magistrate Samuel Munobe had granted Lwakataka’s wife Mr Agnes Kobusingye and his brother Mr Alex Ssekanjako bail on charges of being in possession of immature fish.

Lwakataka was arrested by UPDF officers over unknown reasons and whisked away in a white double cabin pick-up to Masaka Central Police Station.

Ms Kobusingye and Mr Ssekanjako were granted bail of Shs200,000 cash each, while their sureties were ordered to pay Shs10 million each non cash.

Prosecution alleges that the duo was on March 11, 2017 arrested with immature fish contrary to the Fisheries Act.

Lwakatakas’ relatives and friends who were at court raised concern over his arrest wondering why the arrest was carried out by army officers not police.
Mr Siraje Bugembe, Lwakataka’s brother said they fear that their relatives who had been granted bail may would also be re-arrested.

“ Of course he has no case and we are really wondering why soldiers arrested him ,” he said
Lt. Ninsiima Rwemijuma , the spokesperson of Masaka Armoured Brigade said he was not aware of Lwakataka’s arrest.

“I am not aware of that development ,but let me consult ,I will get back to you” Ninsiima said in a telephone interview.

Meanwhile, Lwakataka’s relatives have camped at Masaka Central Police Station to protest his arrest.

Lwakataka has a history of dealing in immature fish and was recently involved in scuffle with Uganda Revenue Authority law enforcement officers in Sheema District after the latter intercepted his truck loaded with immature fish.

Although the URA staff hired a driver to drive the impounded fish-loaded truck back to Mbarara Town, Lwakataka reportedly drew a gun at the hired driver and forced him out and he personally drove away the truck.

A combined team of police and URA staff gave a chase until he and apprehended him in the dusty village roads.

Police Chief Gen.Kale Kayihura has since revoked Lwakataka’s firearm certificate the Ministry of Internal Affairs granted him and ordered for the recovery of his gun.

In July 2014, Mr Lwakataka was released in a questionable circumstance at a police station after a shootout with army and fisheries officers when they attempted to intercept his truck that was carrying immature fish in Kasese District.
He escaped but was later re-arrested and charged in court.
Kasese court jailed two of his workers to six months for dealing in immature fish.
The court also ordered Lwakataka’s trucks that carried the said premature fish to be auctioned for dealing in illegal business.
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