Dr Kizza Besigye, the former Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) president along with eight other opposition politicians all subscribing to opposition pressure group For God and my Country (4GC) have this morning been charged with holding unlawful assemblies.
The eight politicians appeared before Buganda Road Court Chief Magistrate Olive Kazaarwe, who later released them on a non cash bail of one million shillings.
Their eight sureties were each bonded at a non cash bail of two million shillings.. They are expected to re-appear in Court on 17th September.
The leaders included; Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, MPs Hussein Kyanjo for Makindye West, Patrick Nsanja for Ntenjeru South, Roland Mugume for Rukungiri Municipality, Odo Tayebwa for Bushenyi Municipality, Ken Lukyamuzi for Rubaga South and Gerald Karuhanga the Western Youth MP among others.
The other opposition politicians who were charged and denied the charges included Masaka Municipality MP Mathias Mpuuga, Butambala MP Muwanga Kivumbi, and Ingrid Turinawe, the chairperson FDC women league. Also on the list are Asuman Basaalirwa, Jeema party president, Francis Mwijukye, FDC youth mobiliser), Kawempe Mayor Munyagwa Mubarak and Chapaa Karuhanga, a former presidential candidate.
Their court appearance follows summons issued on May 16, by Chief Magistrate Olive Kasaarwe.
The State also alleges that between April 20, 2012 and January 23, 2013 in different locations in Uganda including the IPC offices on Katonga Road in Kampala, the opposition politicians and others still at large, managed an unlawful society called ‘For God and My Country’ or 4GC.
According to the charge sheet, the opposition politicians are charged with eight counts in relation to managing unlawful society, being members of an unlawful society, uttering speech calculated to encourage support to unlawful society and allowing meeting to be held within their premises.
Further the charge sheet alleges that between April 20, 2012 and January 23, 2013 in different locations in Uganda, the opposition politicians and others still at large, managed an unlawful society called ‘For God and My Country’ 4GC.
During the fully packed court session, one of the lawyers representing the accused persons, Ladislaus Rwakafuuzi, asked court to warn the police to stop harassing and tear-gassing his clients as they go on doing their own private work.
The lawyer’s request follows yesterday’s police trailing of Dr Besigye and Lord Mayor Lukwago as they went to seek legal counsel from Rwakafuuzi’s chambers located on Luwumu Street in Kampala.
But the magistrate said it was premature for the lawyer to raise such a complaint and that besides, she had just taken over the file. She said her work is to adjudicate on the matter and advised the defense lawyer to seek other alternative remedies.
Subsequently, the court adjourned the matter to September 17 for mention.
Shortly after the 2011 presidential elections, several opposition leaders including the nine who are to appear in court tomorrow started the ‘Walked-to-Work’ campaign to express dissatisfaction against the rising cost of essential commodities and also to identify with the common person.
Police attempts to block these demonstrations often led to running battles on the streets between the opposition politicians and security agents with residents caught in between.