Veteran Ugandan opposition leader Kizza Besigye was charged a second time with inciting violence and was remanded in custody barely a week after being released on bail.
A longtime critic of President Yoweri Museveni, Dr. Besigye, 66, has led protests against inflation, which has hit Uganda hard as food prices soar due to the war in Ukraine.
Read:Uganda’s Kizza Besigye released on bail
The four-time presidential candidate was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly inciting violence, the second time he has been slapped on that charge in recent weeks.
A strong police presence , including military police, were seen bringing charges at Buganda Road Court while dozens of people waited for Dr. Besigye was brought before the court.
Before the court session began around 5:00 p.m., security personnel set up several checkpoints to restrict people entering the court premises.
Around 5:00 p.m.: At 30:30 p.m., plainclothes security personnel, some memb Members of Parliament, lawyers and other officials from the Forum for Democratic Change Party sat in Courtroom 4 waiting for the judge to indict the defendants – Dr. Besigye and Mr. Samuel Lubega Mukaku – read a former presidential candidate.
At 5:56 p.m. sharp, Magistrate Asuman Muhumuza entered the courtroom and read out the indictment to the defendants.
“The court heard this on April 14 June 2022, at Nakivubo in Central Division, Kampala, Besigye, made statements without lawful apologies at a gathering to the public suggesting or implying that it would be desirable to demonstrate an act reportedly destined to lead to destruction or damage to property,” read Mr. Muhumuza.
Read:Besigyear suspended again for protesting high commodity prices
He later denied the request issued bail for the accused persons on the grounds that this was the case at past court time.
But this was met with protests from supporters of the accused persons, including that of Mr E rias Lukwago-led defense team. However, his request fell on deaf ears when Mr. Muhumuza adjourned the matter until June 17 and transferred the accused to Luzira Prison.
After the court hearing, Mr. Lukwago said the judge should not have heard the case , if he had, he knew it was late.
“It was a farce of justice. The two were brought to court late in the evening and the judge, knowing their defense attorneys had limited time to file requests for bail, ordered remand until June 17,” he said.
“I will refer a complaint to the Judicial Service Commission about the judge’s conduct,” he said.
Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago reacting after the Buganda Road Court tonight remanded @kizzabesigye1 following his arrest in downtown Kampala for protesting the government’s failure to act to protect vulnerable Ugandans from the high cost of living. #MonitorUpdates< br/>📹 @ aubakerlubowa pic.twitter.com/unsuvb4qoD
– Daily Monitor (@DailyMonitor) June 15, 2 022
Dr Besigye was arrested in downtown Kampala on Tuesday while speaking out against high commodity prices protested, and to the Nagalama Police Station in M ukono district.
This was the second time the Buganda Road Court was remanded in custody. Besigye in less than a month on similar charges.
He is expected to appear in court on Friday in the first count of incitement to violence for which he was released on bail in court last week.< /br>< /p>
Dr. Kizza Besigye, who heads the People’s Transition Group, is trying to mobilize Ugandans to take a stand against the high cost of living, which he says is affecting vulnerable citizens. dr Besigye also wants the government to cut what he calls extravagant spending.
As discontent over soaring prices has grown in the country of 45 million, President Museveni has repeatedly called for tax cuts and ignoring subsidies and urging citizens to live frugally instead.
Last week Uganda’s main opposition leader, Bobi Wine, criticized the government’s decision to buy limousines for senior parliament officials, attacking it for failing to ” to prioritize the suffering of Ugandans”.
In his annual State of the Union address last week, Mr Museveni said that “cutting taxes and subsidies, particularly on imports, is suicidal because our people may shop carelessly and we end up using up our foreign exchange reserves (currencies). “
Read:Museveni’s Speech: No Government Intervention Amid High Cost of Living