Court rejects state request to issue criminal summons against Besigye

The Buganda Road Magistrate's court in Kampala has rejected the state's request to issue criminal summons against Dr Kizza Besigye.

Kizza Besigye

Besigye is charged alongside former Rubaga South Constituency parliamentary candidate Samuel Lubega Mukaaku over the duo’s June 14, 2022 protest against the rising cost of living in Uganda.

In protesting, the two politicians are alleged to have held a gathering at Kikuubo Shauriyako parish in Kampala central division where they exhorted their listeners to demonstrate, which was viewed by the Police as an exhortation to cause destruction to property.

The court, which rejected the government’s stance, was presided over by Grade One Magistrate, Asuman Muhumuza. Besigye did not appear in court.

State prosecutor Ivan Kyazze asked court to issue criminal summons against Besigye, saying he had sufficient evidence against Besigye and Mukaku.

Kyazze shared with Besigye's lawyers a charge sheet containing statements from 11 witnesses, majority of who are police officers.

Besigye's lawyers, led by Samuel Muyizzi Mulindwa, told court that their client was in Ntungamo district, western Uganda, to attend the burial of veteran politician Yonasani Kanyomozi who died on Sunday last week.

Magistrate Muhumuza accepted Muyizzi's submission about his advising Besigye to attend the burial instead of court, adding that if Besigye had been present in court, he would have dismissed the charges against him and his co-accused, Mukaaku.

The magistrate said that had previously directed the prosecutors to share with the defense lawyers the evidence the had against Besigye and Makaaku but they did not comply with his directive. He then adjourned the case to October 24.

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