By Robert Muhereza
State wants jailed Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) former presidential candidate Kizza Besigye to be transferred from Luzira prison to Kabale court to answer charges of inciting violence and malicious damage.
The Kabale Senior Resident State Attorney Mr Batson Baguma on Monday asked the Kabale Chief Magistrates Court to issue production warrant for Dr Besigye to be transferred from Luzira prison to Kabale.
Dr Besigye was jointly charged with the Kampala Lord Mayor Mr Erias Lukwago, MP Kawempe Division South Mubaraka Munyagwa, FDC secretary for mobilisation Ms Igrid Turinawe, Rukungiri municipality MP Mr Roland Mugume Kaginda and Democratic Party Imam Makumbi for allegedly inciting the public on July I4, 2012 at Kabale stadium where four policemen were injured and four police cars vandalized by their stone pelting supporters.
Mr Baguma also asked court to issue criminal summons for Mr Munyagwa, Ms Turinawe, Mr Roland Kaginda, Mr Makumbi and all their sureties for failure to attend court arguing that the submission by the accused’s lawyer that they were attending the swearing in ceremony for Mr Lukwago in Kampala does
“Criminal summons should be issued against the accused persons and their sureties for failure to attend court and they should be warned against mixing issues of politics with court matters. I pray that production warrant be issued so that Dr Kizza Besigye is brought to this court to answer charges against him at the expense of the state,” Mr Baguma said.
This was after the defendants’ lawyer Mr Justus Muhangi told court that his clients were not able to attend court because they were invited guests to witness the swearing in ceremony for Mr Lukwago as the lord mayor for Kampala city. He also said that it was not possible for Mr Lukwago to attend court because he was being sworn in and Dr Besigye could not make it because he is on remand in Luzira prison.
The Kabale grade one magistrate Mr Raphael Vueni presided over the court session as the trial chief magistrate Mr Samuel Moses Kagonda was absent for other official duties.
Magistrate Vueni issued criminal summons against the accused persons and their sureties before he asked the resident state attorney Mr Batson Baguma to present the issue of production warrant for Dr Besigye before the Kabale chief magistrate since he is the trial magistrate in this case.
The case was adjourned to July 18 for further hearing.
Speaking to the press outside court after the case was adjourned, Mr Muhangi said that state’s plea for issuance of production warrant for Dr Besigye is aimed at delaying the case as government allegedly does not want to free the four time challenger of President Yoweri Museveni from Luzira prison.
“Let the state compile all the cases in which Dr Besigye is accused of and table tem before court so that he can be tried in Luzira at the expense of government or let the state drop charges in lower courts against Dr Besigye because his continued detention in Luzira inconveniences his co accused persons and their sureties as the cases are continuously adjourned,” Mr Muhangi explained.
By Robert Muhereza
Daily Monitor (Uganda)