Court Issues Criminal Summons Against Besigye

Court Issues Criminal Summons Against Besigye

A court in the Ugandan capital, Kampala has issued criminal summons against former presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye over the treason charges he is currently facing.

Besigye was scheduled to report back to Nakawa Chief Magistrate’s Court on Monday but he didn’t since it was a public holiday. He should have appeared Tuesday but Besigye and his lawyers were not in court.

Local news agency, Uganda Radio Network reports that one of Besigye’s sureties, Roland Mugume, the Rukungiri Municipality MP informed court that the opposition strong man is out of the country and that he could not be present in court.

Besiyge, Uganda’s  frequently arrested opposition leader, was in May charged with treason after he allegedly took part in a fake presidential swearing-in ceremony which was filmed and circulated online. The film clip emerged on the same day that President Yoweri Museveni was sworn in for a fifth term.

The absence of Besigye in court prompted state prosecutor Doreen Elima to ask court to issue criminal summons for him.

A criminal summons is sometimes issued to notify an individual that he is facing criminal charges. Failing to appear in court on the date specified in the summons usually results in an arrest warrant being issued, and may result in additional criminal charges.

Besigye who failed four times to depose President Yoweri Museveni has been in the west and he appeared on the BBC Focus on Africa Programme on Friday and refused to rule himself out of contesting again in 2021.