Ugandan Piglet Protesters Granted Bail

Mark Babatunde September 26, 2016
Ugandan Law enforcement officers struggle to capture the pigs brought to parliament by members of the Jobless Brotherhood movement. Photo Credit: Daily Monitor

Two Jobless Brotherhood Movement protesters who dropped piglets off at Ugandan parliament earlier in the month have been granted bail by a Ugandan court.

According to the Monitor, the two men were granted bail by a Grade 1 magistrate court sitting in Kampala on Friday. Presiding Judge Marion Mangeni ordered Ferdinard Luta and Joseph Lukwago to provide the sum of Shs500,000 a piece as a precondition to regaining their freedom. Mangeni also ordered both men to provide proof of ownership of assets worth Shs5 million.

Pigs for Protest

Luta, 28, and Lukwago, 27, were arrested by Ugandan authorities September 15th for introducing 10 live piglets in to the premises of the Ugandan parliament.

The men said they were protesting the government’s approval of Shs200 million (about $60,000) for each member of Parliament for the purchase of vehicles and the authorization of the sum of shs68 million (about $20,000) to fund the burial of any MP who died in office.

Before the court hearing on Friday, the two men had been held for more than a week in police custody at the central police station in Kampala. Both men were arraigned for constituting a public nuisance and charged with cruelty to domestic animals in what the authorities referred to as ill treatment to the pigs for dousing them in paint before dropping them off in the middle of nowhere.

The men have since denied all charges.

Both men are expected back in court on October 18th in the continuation of their trial.

A Youth Movement

The Jobless Brotherhood of Uganda is a youth coalition for change and a national association of the unemployed that are dissatisfied with the socio-political conditions in Uganda.

Speaking at a press conference on Friday, the coordinator of Jobless Brotherhood, Augustine Ojobile, told newsmen that the organization will not stop protesting and voicing its disapproval over what it describes as the greed of members of parliament.

 “We would have used a goat, a snake, or any other animal, but we chose the pigs for their symbolism of greed,” Ojobile said. 

The movement also expressed its disappointment that MPs from the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party had united with members from the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party to award themselves generous emoluments despite the dire economic condition of the average Ugandan.

All 10 piglets introduced in to parliament by Luta and Lukwago were painted in blue and yellow, (the respective colors of the FDC and NRM parties) to symbolize how members of both parties put aside their differences when it comes to their self-interest.

Protests involving pigs seems to be a favorite tactic of the Jobless Brotherhood Movement; in July 2014, two members (not Luta and Lukwago) of the group found their way in to parliament and introduced two piglets painted in yellow, the color of the ruling NRM party.

Last Edited by:Abena Agyeman-Fisher Updated: June 19, 2018


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