I would rather endure remand than pay Shs30m cash for bail - Besigye

Political activist, Dr Kizza Besigye gestures as he stands in the dock at Buganda Road Chief Magistrate's Court during proceedings in charges of incitement to violence against him on May 25, 2022. PHOTOS/ ABUBAKER LUBOWA 
 

What you need to know:

  • State told court presided over by Grade One Magistrate, Siena Owomugisha that Besigye on May 24, 2022 at Arua Park - Munno Village in Kampala City, without any lawful excuse at an assembly addressed members of the public implying that it would be desirable for them to demonstrate, yet this act can result into violence and destruction of property.
  • The veteran Opposition politician was arraigned before Buganda Road Chief Magistrate’s Court in Kampala and charged with incitement to violence

Former presidential candidate, Dr Kizza Besigye has been remanded to Luzira Prison after he refused to pay Shs30 million cash for his bail following his arrest over renewed protests against government inaction to cushion Ugandans against the skyrocketing commodity prices.

The former Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) president was arrested yesterday in downtown Kampala where he had gone to mobilise Ugandans to ‘wake up’ and protest the high commodity prices as well as what he described as the ‘stupid succession birthdays’.

After his arrest, the People's Front for Transition (PFT) leader, was whisked to Naggalama police station in Mukono District where he spent a night in the cells.

He was on Wednesday arraigned before Buganda Road Chief Magistrate’s Court in Kampala and charged with incitement to violence.

State told court presided over by Grade One Magistrate, Siena Owomugisha that Besigye on May 24, 2022 at Arua Park - Munno Village in Kampala City, without any lawful excuse at an assembly addressed members of the public implying that it would be desirable for them to demonstrate, yet this act can result into violence and destruction of property.

The four-time presidential contender pleaded not guilty to the charges before applying to be released on bail.

He presented former Bukooli Central MP and ex-Leader of Opposition in Parliament Wafula Oguttu and FDC deputy secretary General Harold Kaija as his sureties.

After being denied chance to directly address court, the veteran opposition politician, through his lawyer, Mr Erias Lukwago, asked court to consider previous circumstances that led to his May 24 arrest before setting his bail conditions.

Dr Kizza Besigye in the dock 

He told the magistrate that despite a Constitutional Court order that restrained police from imprisoning him at his home, his rights to free movement had been curtailed since May 12, 2022 as police blocked him on three occasions from leaving his house in Kasangati, Wakiso District under the unlawful preventive arrest.

Besigye, through his lawyer also told court that since police has consistently violated his Constitutional right to earn a living, he should not be given a cash bail.

However, the magistrate in her ruling said she was not convinced with Besigye’s plea before ordering him to pay Shs30 million cash, and bonded each of his sureties at Shs70 million not cash.

Besigye then opted to be remanded as his lawyers appeal against the cash bail condition for his release.

After court proceedings, Dr Besigye said he considers the cash bail condition as an extension of the injustices he has faced for long.

“Buganda Rd Court, where I’ve been charged with “Inciting violence”, has just granted me cash bail of Shs 30m! I consider this an extension of the injustices I’ve faced for long. I’ve asked my lawyers to appeal it as I endure remand. All Ugandans should stand firm Vs injustices,” he tweeted.

Besigye is expected to return to court on July 16, 2022 for further mention of the case.

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