Arrest Warrants Issued: Dr. Besigye and Mukaaku To Face Arrest

The Buganda Road Magistrates Court has taken action against Dr. Kiiza Besigye and Samuel Lubega Mukaaku, the former Parliamentary Candidate for Rubaga North, as they failed to appear in court for the second time to face charges of inciting violence. The court issued a warrant of arrest against them, following a request from the prosecution.

According to the prosecution, on June 14th, 2022, in Kikuubo, Shauriyako Parish, Kampala City, Besigye and Mukaaku made statements inciting violence and damage to property during their protest against the rising commodity prices in the country. They were initially granted bail and instructed to appear in court as required, but they were absent on Thursday’s court session.

The State Attorney, Ivan Kyazze, informed the court that Besigye and Mukaaku have been consistently absent without clear reasons, making it difficult to provide them with a speedy trial as mandated by law. Due to their continuous absence, Kyazze requested the court to issue warrants of arrest against them and criminal summons against their sureties, who were also not present.

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Musa Matovu, who represented Erias Lukwago, the lawyer of Besigye and Mukaaku, stated that their non-attendance in the previous sessions was not intentional. He explained that both defendants are currently out of the country. He further mentioned that the case was hindered on February 22, 2023, when the Magistrate was unavailable, and the subsequent session did not proceed as well.

Matovu asked for an adjournment of the case, but Kyazze argued that Matovu did not provide the court with proper travel itineraries, visa details, and photocopies for Besigye and Mukaaku, nor did they seek permission for their travel abroad. Kyazze also denied the allegation that the Magistrate was indisposed.

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In the ruling, Grade One Magistrate Asuman Muhumuza agreed with the prosecution and found Matovu’s submissions to be false. Muhumuza stated that Besigye and Mukaaku had attended court in May but were absent in subsequent sessions despite the issuance of criminal summons. Consequently, the court decided to issue a warrant of arrest and criminal summons against their sureties.

The case has been adjourned to August 25 for further proceedings.

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