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Besigye Petitions High Court to Quash UGX 30M Cash Bail

Besigye's lawyers led by Erias Lukwago in their petition to the High Court on Thursday contend that the money demanded from him is excessive and that Owomugisha exercised her jurisdiction with material irregularity.
26 May 2022 16:17
Dr Kizza Besigye's lawyer Erias Lukwago at the High Court as his clerk looks on.

Audio 2

Dr. Kizza Besigye has petitioned the High Court Criminal Division in Kampala seeking to set aside a decision to grant him a cash bail of 30 million Shillings.

On Wednesday, Besigye was arraigned before Buganda Road Grade One Magistrate Siena Owomugisha and charged with inciting violence after staging a protest in Arua Park against increased prices of commodities in the country.  

Court heard that on May 24th, 2022 at Arua Park Muno Village Shauriyako Parish in Central Division in Kampala District, without lawful excuse at an assembly made statements to the members of the public indicating or implying that it would be desirable to demonstrate, an act which was reportedly calculated to lead to destruction or damage to property.

Besigye denied the charges and was granted 30 million Shillings cash bail. Each of his sureties who included Wafula Ogutu and Forum for Democratic Change Deputy  Secretary-General Harold Kaija each bonded at 70 million shillings, not cash.

But Besigye said that the cash bail was excessive and opted to be remanded to Luzira Prison and instructed his lawyers to challenge the decision in the High Court.

Besigye's lawyers led by Erias Lukwago in their petition to the High Court on Thursday contend that the money demanded from him is excessive and that Owomugisha exercised her jurisdiction with material irregularity .

According to Lukwago, this stringent term derogated Besigye's right to a fair hearing and civil liberties and it ought to be quashed in the interest of justice.

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Lukwago contends that the learned trial Magistrate by imposing an unacceptable condition for bail which substantially differed from the terms set for other accused persons arrested with Besigye exercised her jurisdiction with material irregularity.

The former Lubaga South Parliamentary Candidate Samuel Lubega Mukaku and Yoweri Kintu who was arrested with Besigye appeared before the Buganda Road Grade One Magistrate Asuman Muhumuza and were charged with obstruction of a police officer in the execution of duty. 

They were granted a non-cash bail of 5 million shillings and each of their sureties bonded at 7 Million shillings also not cash.

Besigye’s driver Fred Kato was also charged with an offense related to traffic according to Lukwago and granted a cash bail of 1 million shillings before Buganda Road Grade One Magistrate Fidelis Otwao.

Lukwago wants the Court to revise Owomugisha's decision and set it aside to enable Besigye to gain his temporary freedom.

The case is yet to be allocated to a Judge who will be fixing it for hearing.