Police prevent Uganda opposition leader from attending court, funeral

Ugandan police on Monday prevented opposition leader Dr Kizza Besigye from leaving his home to attend court as well as the funeral of a friend.

Besigye was expected to appear before Mary Eleanor Khainza, the registrar of the High Court-Criminal Division for extension of his bail in a case in which he was charged with treason. He was also due to attend the funeral service of one of his friends, Enid Turitwenka.

“No amount of pleading could get sense into heads of all these police officers to respect the law and my rights! I can’t attend court today,” Besigye shared on his Twitter account.

Uganda’s Daily Monitor reported that Besigye’s lawyer, Ernest Kalibala was seen in the registrar’s office in the morning but did not share with the media what had transpired.

“This comes at a time when Opposition MPs are soliciting 143 signatures from fellow lawmakers in a bid to recall Parliament from recess to discuss Besigye’s continued house arrest and harassment by the police,” reported the Monitor.

The lead petitioner, Nambooze, told journalists on Saturday that they decided that the continued detention of the four-time presidential candidate, coupled with heavy police deployment at his home was illegal and that they should recall parliament to address the same.

“After observing the conditions under which Besigye lives, we decided as MPs, after consultation with other colleagues who are up country right now, that parliament should be recalled,” said Nambooze.

Besigye alleges that February’s presidential elections were rigged. He and his supporters launched a campaign of defiance following the elections which included a counter swearing-in simultaneously as President Yoweri Museveni was inaugurated in May.

He was subsequently charged with treason.