Kampala, Uganda | URN | The Buganda Road Magistrate’s court has charged Former Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) Presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye with inciting violence.
Dr Besigye was produced at Buganda Road court by police on Wednesday 25, May 2022 amidst tight security and charged before grade one magistrate Siena Owomugisha
Court heard that on May 24, 2022, at Arua Park, Muno village, Shauriyako parish in Central Division, Kampala district, without lawful excuse at an assembly made statements to members of the public indicating or implying that it would be desirable to demonstrate, an act which was reportedly calculated to lead to destruction or damage to property.
Dr Besigye was arrested from Arua Park where he was addressing crowds and taken to the Central Police Station in Kampala. He was later transferred to Nagalama Police Station where he spent a night.
Dr Besigye denied the charges and asked to be released on cash bail. His lawyers; Chrysostom Katumba and Erias Lukwago argued that he is still innocent until proven guilty and that it’s his constitutional right to apply for bail.
They also noted that Dr Besigye has a permanent place of abode and that is a national leader whose record is well captured in some of the records before the court. Court has also heard that Dr Besigye has been a presidential candidate four times with a performance that is well on record and not disputed and formerly headed Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) political party.
Dr Besigye’s sureties were Wafula Ogutu and the FDC deputy secretary-general Harold Kaija. However, the prosecution led by Joan Keko objected to bail saying that if Besigye’s records are known in court, it implies that he should desist from committing crimes that bring him to court.
She added that since he is a leader he has the capacity to interfere with investigations. Keko asked court to put stringent terms on him.
Owomugisha granted Dr Besigye a cash bail of Shs 30 million saying that there was no evidence to prove that Besigye was going to interfere with the ongoing investigations. Each of the sureties was bonded at Shs 70 million, not cash. The case was adjourned to June 16.
However, Lukwago said that the bail amount is outrageous since his client has been under preventive arrest at his home for almost two weeks and he has not been working. According to Lukwago, Besigye has instructed them to appeal against the decision and chose to be remanded.
Meanwhile, three people who were jointly arrested with Besigye on Tuesday have also been arraigned before Buganda Road court and charged separately.
The former Lubaga South parliamentary candidate Samuel Lubega Mukaku a resident of Mengo Hill in Kampala Central Division and Yoweri Kintu a loader at Arua Park and resident of Kanyanya Quarter Zone in Kawempe Division appeared before grade one magistrate Asuman Muhumuza and charged with obstruction of a police officer in the execution of duty.
They were granted a non-cash bail of Shs 5 million and each of their sureties bonded at Shs 7 million also not cash. These have been directed to return to court on June 27 as investigations continue.
Dr Besigye’s driver Fred Kato was also charged with an offense related to traffic according to Lukwago and granted a cash bail of Shs 1 million before Buganda Road grade one magistrate Fidelis Otwao.