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Besigye charged with incitement

03 November 2014, 19:01 Godfrey Olukya

Kampala - President Museveni's arch-rival, who has stood against him three times in presidential campaigns but lost, Dr Kizza Besigye was Monday charged with inciting violence before the Kabale Magistrate’s court, 400 kms west of Kampala.

Besigye, who was the leader of the main opposition political party in Uganda FDC, reportedly committed the offence in 2012 at a political rally in that area when he instructed his supporters to disobey police and hurl stones at them. Several policemen during the incident.

He has however been granted a non-cash bail of UGX 5 million.

Besigye traveled from Kampala to Kabale Sunday with a few supporters in a public bus claiming that they had no funds to buy fuel for their vehicles. On Monday, he arrived in court with his co-accused Ronald Mugume and some supporters at 9:00 am.

According to prosecution, Besigye and his co-accused committed the offence on July 14, 2012 while at a rally in Kabale Municipal Stadium. The rally was reportedly illegal because the organisers did not get permission from police to hold it.

It was later dispersed by police after engaging in running battles. The supporters attempted to march in the streets of Kabale town but were dispersed by police.

One of the prosecution witnesses, police officer Gumisiriza Karinkiza said, ''Besigye told his supporters not to obey police as they attempted to disperse them. They responded by pelting the policemen with stones injuring several of them.''

Besigye's lawyer, Wilfred Mulumba noted that the charge sheet was defective and therefore the case should be dismissed.

He said,''The charge sheet ... does not indicate which people were injured in the process as the state claims.''

Presiding magistrate, Mary Babirye, adjourned the case to December 5, 2014.

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