A veteran Ugandan opposition figure was released Monday after a court reduced his bail, forcing him to spend almost two weeks in detention, his lawyer and an aide said.
Kizza Besigye was charged with inciting violence on May 25 after being arrested a day earlier in the capital Kampala as he rallied supporters to protest rising commodity prices.
After him, he was granted bail, but on condition that he pay 30 million shillings ($8,000) of it in cash, which his lawyer protested as “outrageous”.
Besigye refused to pay and chose to go to jail instead. His lawyers then appealed to the Supreme Court to reduce the amount.
On Monday, a judge reduced the bail to just 3 million shillings, which Besigye paid.
>< p class="texttext1fzle">“We appreciate what the court decided and brought it down (cash bail). … It’s a significant reduction,” Besigye’s lawyer, Erias Lukwago, told reporters after the verdict. His client is preparing to pay the money so he can be released, Lukwago added.
Hours after the judge’s verdict, Ronald Muhinda, Besigye’s assistant, tweeted that he had been released
Uganda consumers have expressed anger at a sharp rise in the prices of a range of commodities including fuel, cooking oil, Soap, wheat and others.
Besigye has led opposition calls for tax cuts or other measures to limit the impact of inflation on consumers, but President Yoweri Museveni has rejected relief and high prices attributed to the war in Ukraine and the Covid-19 pandemic.
< p class="texttext1fzle">He has been arrested dozens of times and lost four elections to Museveni, 77. He dismissed the results, saying the agree have been compromised through intimidation and manipulation.