Ugandan MP Bobi Wine charged in military court

August 17, 2018 Africa , News , OPINION/NEWS

CR photo

 

By

Gloria Nakiyimba

 

 

Musician turned politician Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu also known as Bobi Wine has been charged in the general military court martial in Gulu.

 

The opposition legislator representing Kyadondo East Constituency was on Thursday arraigned before the court martial charged with treason, illegal possession of fire arms and ammunition.

 

Members of his family and journalists were not allowed to attend the session held in camera. Only two of his lawyers were allowed inside the court room.

 

One of his lawyers Benjamin Katana said the visibly swollen and frail legislator could not speak nor stand on his own, and was airlifted to Makindye military barracks in the capital Kampala after the brief court session. He will appear again in court on the 23rd of August.

 

Earlier on Thursday, Arua municipality Member of Parliament elect Kassiano Wadri, Hon Gerald Karuhanga, Mike Mabike, Paul Mwiru and several others were charged with treason in the northern town of Gulu.

 

Prosecution alleges that on the 13th of August with the intent to harm the person of the president, attacked his motorcade, and pelted one of his cars with stones smashing its windscreen.

 

Kassiano Wadri, who was clad in a floral shirt and other legislators wearing red t-shirts, appeared calm in court although some of the others accused were too frail to support themselves in the dock

 

Defence lawyer Medard Lubega informed the court that the accused were severely tortured and some of them needed urgent medical attention.

 

He named Atiku Shaban Night Asara and Jane Abola who could not stand on their our without support because they suffered internal organ injuries as a result of the inhumane treatment they were subjected to in dentation by the Special Forces command, the security organ that protects the president.

 

Court heard that Night Asara had suffered severe internal organ injuries and she was bleeding from her private parts. The magistrate ordered they be taken for medical attention at their own cost.

 

The group has been remanded back to prison until the 30th of this month after court told them they could not take a plea since the court does not have jurisdiction over their case which is only tried by the High Court

 

 

Opposition Leader Dr. Besigye Speaks Out

 

Retired Col. Dr. Kizza Besigye has called for the unconditional and immediate release of all the detained leaders who were arrested in connection with the Arua by election violence.

 

While addressing the media in Kampala from his offices at Katonga road, Dr. Besigye described the treason charges against the opposition MPs as trumped up charges that should be dismissed at this stage with contempt.

 

“I have been charged with treason twice, I have been charged with rape, with illegal possession of guns. My wife was charged with having a pistol in our home in Luzira. These trumped up charges are the rules in how NRM addresses opponents,” Besigye said.

 

He blamed president Museveni for the violence that erupted in Arua on Monday as he campaigned for the NRM candidate Nusura Tiperu who lost the elections to the jailed Kassiano Ezat Wadri who did not participate in the Wednesday by-election.

 

“Part of the problem that happened in Arua is having a person who carries himself as president and wants to be treated as such when he is going to do party politics. Candidates would like to have freedom campaign. That did not happen when Mr. Museveni was in Arua because all roads were blocked.”

 

Besigye told the media that many leaders were arrested and tortured very promptly but are not reported about.

 

“This must without any form of reservation be condemned by all Ugandans and a process to get those who are responsible for this criminality set in motion. What’s going is a state of terror that must worry all Ugandans” he stated.

 

He noted that the legislators and opposition supporters who are in detention have been detained against a background of state inspired violence and the whole idea of legislators having been in possession of guns illegally must be dismissed.

 

“The presence of Mr. Museveni’s presidential security in a parliamentary election campaign is a problem and is in itself an incitement of violence.”

 

According to President Museveni’s nemesis the Arua election was another war zone.

 

“Every election in this country ends up being a war zone where you see war equipment deployed, where you see troops deployed. That’s what was in Arua which is a matter of a continuing grave concern for our country,” he opined.

 

He said the militarization of elections is a matter that should cause our country to be extremely concerned and seek to address and resolve as quickly as possible.

 

 

 Committee Set Up

 

Besigye announced that he had set up a committee led by Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago to work hand and glove with the defense lawyers, and the Parliamentary committee to determine how to secure the liberties of the detained leaders.

 

 

Supporters Protest

 

Anti-riot Police had earlier fired tear gas to disperse angry supporters of Kyagulanyi who were protesting his continued detention in an unknown location in Gulu. They blocked the old Kiira road with burnt old car tyres paralyzing business and traffic in the area.

 

 

 

 

Gloria Nakiyimba

Gloria has experience spanning more than five years in Journalism, particularly in field reporting, editing, newscasting and management. She is currently working with Capital Radio Limited [91.3 Capital FM and 96.3 Beat FM] as Head of News, a position she has held since 2010.

Gloria previously worked as the Kampala Correspondent for Radio France International [RFI] generating local story leads with international inference for RFI’s global audience. She also served as Political Editor for The Weekly Mail Newspaper as well as Online Content Editor for the California based Ugandan broadcaster KubutakaRadio.com.

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