Why Besigye Case Hit A Snag

By 7:00am, hundreds of thousands of supporters of former Presidential flag bearer of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) -Retired Colonel Kizza Besigye had arrived at Nakawa Court.

(L-R) MP Betty Nambooze, Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, MP Ibrahim Nganda, Francis Mwijukye, FDC President Mugisha Muntu
(L-R) MP Betty Nambooze, Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, MP Ibrahim Nganda, Francis Mwijukye, FDC President Mugisha Muntu

Before the Chief Magistrate –James Mawanda Ereemye-entered Court, the whole Court room had been occupied, with many other supporters waiting outside the Court yard.

Clad in T-shirts Besigye’s portrait printed on and cheering his name high, tension rose up as security intervened to block some supporters especially those distributing  t-shirts bearing  ‘provocative messages’  on them.

As a result, police intervened and arrested some supporters including; Ismael Muyinda, Asia Nanyanzi, and one Sam, among others. Luckily, Human Rights lawyer and activist Nickolas Opio quickly rushed to Kampala Central Police Station where the accused had been taken and secured a police bond for all of them.

Meanwhile, supporters lost patience and angrily booed Nakawa Chief Magistrate over failure to present their person for mention of his case as it had earlier been planned.

The eagerly waiting supporters turned rowdy when the chief Prosecutor- Lino Anguzu disclosed that they had applied for a production warrant so that Besigye’s case is moved to Luzira Court house for mention instead of Nakawa, citing security threats. “The prosecution prays that the case be heard in Luzira Prison where distance from Prison to Court is much shorter to reduce security threat,” Anguzu stated and thus received boos from the supporters.

Realizing that the situation was turning chaotic, the magistrate threatened to throw all the supporters outside.

“The accused person not in Court, I have listened and I will make a ruling into  the matter on 15th June, 2016 as to whether his case will be handled in Luzira or not,” he said and immediately adjourned the court.

This prompted the impatiently waiting opposition leaders who included; FDC party President-Maj. Gen.  Mugisha Muntu , City Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, Mukono Municipality legislator-Betty Nambooze Bakireke, Ibrahim Semuju Nganda, Francis Mwijukye, among others to burst into prayer turning the court into a worship centre for a few minutes. Eventually, they walked out of Court in protest of the Prosecution’s decision while castigating the manner in which Court had started operating.

“Last time they told us Besigye would be in court at 9am, and was instead brought in darkness like at 6am, under unclear circumstances, he was rushed bach without seeing any of his lawyers, now they told us 1st June, 2016, at 9am, and after committing ourselves to come, they are now telling us that they have decided to change the venue due to insecurity threats, to be sincere, with all these army officers and police patrolling the whole of Kampala, which type of threat are they talking about if they really don’t intend to deny out person justice!” Muntu charged.

Unlike before, Besigye had secured defence lawyers who were led by David Mpanga and Yusuf Nsibambi, among others, to sit in his case.

However, impeccable sources intimated to Red pepper that, failure to bring Besigye to Court had been planned already by the concerned authorities who were closely working with top Police officers. This was due to rumors that supporters had planned to raid Namugongo and block the pilgrimage activities including disrupting the visit of the Turkish President who is in the Country. Shockingly still, the constitutional Court summoned FDC’s Kizza Besigye to appear before the Constitutional Court today at 3pm, after the Attorney General petitioned Court, demanding that Besigye’s ‘Defiance Campaign’ be banned for good instead of being granted just a limited time as Deputy Chief Justice Steven Kavuma had earlier ruled. Besigye is being charged with treason after a video clip circulated on social media, in which he appeared in mocking swearing in ceremony.