Wednesday August 6 2014

Besigye skips court


Eight Opposition politicians, including former leader of Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) Kizza Besigye, Ms Ingrid Turinawe (chairperson FDC women league) and Kawempe division mayor Mubaraka Munyagwa fulfilled their earlier threat of not returning to court after it made an adjournment prolonging a case in which they are accused of participating in protests and fuelling chaos in the city.

Their case had on Tuesday been scheduled for mention before Buganda Road Court Chief Magistrate but they all never showed up and their lawyer, Mr Ernest Kalibbala, had no explanation for their absence.Other suspects include; Masaka Municipality MP Mathias Mpuuga, Butambala County MP Muwanga Kivumbi, Mr Chaapa Karuhanga (former presidential candidate), Jeema party president Asuman Basaalirwa and Mr Francis Mwijukye, an FDC youth mobiliser.
They are facing eight counts, including managing an unlawful society, being members of an unlawful society, uttering speech calculated to encourage support to unlawful society and allowing meeting to be held within their premises, among others.

Defence lawyer, Mr Kalibbala told court that he was earlier instructed by his clients to seek dismissal of their case.
“Your worship, my clients are seeking court to dismiss their case on grounds that they appeared in court nine times. But the state never showed any effort to conclude investigations or prosecute them,”Mr Kalibbala said.
He said: “The charges against them are not violent offences. They are ordinary and simple that never required a lot of expertise in investigating. However, the state attorney, Ms Lillian Omara is always claiming that the file is still with the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP).”

Subsequently, the trial magistrate adjourned the matter to August 12 this year, to make a ruling as to whether to dismiss or maintain charges against the suspects. She also ordered that all suspects attend court.
The state alleges that between April 20, 2012 and January 23, 2013 in different locations in Uganda the accused and others still at large, managed an unlawful society called ‘For God and My Country’.