The Director of Public Prosecution, Ms Jane Frances Abodo has withdrawn the charges of the negligent act likely to cause the spread of disease and disobedience of lawful orders against the Mityana Municipality Member of Parliament Francis Zaake Butebi.
Mr Zaake was arrested on Sunday, April 19 when he was allegedly found distributing food relief to his starving constituents of Buswabulongo in Busimbi division Mityana municipality.
He was allegedly tortured by the security forces and later on presented to the court in a visibly poor health state, unable to stand and sit on his own, forcing the Chief Magistrate to order for his treatment before the court sessions would proceed.
Kate Basuuta, the Mityana resident state attorney on Wednesday told the Mityana Chief Magistrate that the DPP had decided to discontinue the prosecution of the legislator, but gave no reason.
“This is to inform the court that the director of public prosecutions has decided to discontinue proceedings against Hon Zaake Francis charged with negligent act likely to spread the infection of disease contrary section 171 of the penal act and disobedience of lawful orders contrary to section 117 of the penal code act,” a withdrawal form signed Jane Frances Abodo, the director of Public Prosecutions states.
At the time of his arrest, President Museveni had banned distribution of relief items by individuals and said anybody found doing so would be charged with attempted murder.
Since April this year, Zaake has been reporting to Mityana Magistrates Court. He also filed a separate case of torture against a number of top police officers both in Kampala and Mityana. On Wednesday, the six officers he accused of torture were supposed to appear before the court but they did not show up. They were represented by their lawyer, Mr Elias Tumwebaze.
Mr Aaron Kiiza, the lead lawyer in Zaake’s torture cases said that they’re unhappy with the DPP’s decision of withdrawing the case, saying that they wanted to go ahead with it and that the decision is a coward act.
“They failed to investigate the case they were accusing my client of, failed to produce the evidence and decided to withdraw the case,” he said.
The Mityana Chief Magistrate Kule Moses Lubangule adjourned the case to August 18, when he said a decision will be made on whether to send the case to Mubende High Court.