From MONITOR News | November 15, 2005
SIMON KASYATE / HUSSEIN BOGERE
DR Kizza Besigye, the leader of the Forum for Democratic Change, was charged yesterday with treason, concealment of treason and rape. He was remanded to Luzira Prison.
Besigye appeared before Buganda Road chief magistrate yesterday afternoon shortly after he was arrested at Busega roundabout, on the southern fringes of Kampala city. Besigye walked into Buganda Road Court accompanied by his attorneys Mr Sam Njuba, FDC Deputy president and East African MP Sam Wandera Ogalo.
The Chief magistrate, Ms Margaret Tibulya, read out the charges.
"Dr Kizza Besigye and 20 others...contravened a plot to overthrow the government by law established... and expressed the plot by conducting recruitment, mobilising logistical support such as fire arms, ammunitions and other military ware and intelligence information for Peoples' Redemption Army, a rebel organisation fighting to overthrow the government of Uganda by force of arms," Tibulya read out the charges.
The same charge sheet placed Besigye as accused number one. It also has his younger brother Joseph Musasizi Kifefe a.k.a Saasi as accused number 23.
Besigye returns today to be committed to the High Court for trial.
As Tibulya read the charges, Besigye clad in a checkered blue long-sleeved shirt and black trousers with marching shoes remained calm and only responded when asked whether he understood the charges. Court burst into laughter when Tibulya read the third charge of rape prompting court officials to call for order.
"You are charged with rape contrary to section 123 & 124 of the Penal Code Act," Tibulya announced, "...in November 1997 at Luzira you had canal knowledge of Kyakuwa Joanita without her consent."
On hearing this, Besigye broke into prolonged laughter and later composed himself maintaining a broad smile on his face.
Edson Mbiringi signed the rape case reference E/34/2003 charge sheet under the designation of Officer Preferring charge. After each charge was read, State Attorney Jane Kajuga asked court to remand Besigye until today.
"As you know, this court has no jurisdiction to take your plea and or to bail you. You will be remanded until tomorrow (Tuesday) when you will appear together with the other co-accused in a higher court," said Tibulya.
Fifteen minutes later court was adjourned and Besigye whisked way into a waiting Police double cabin pickup UP 0561 escorted by three fully loaded military police double cabins and two omnibuses full of plain clothed security operatives. Before court was called to order, a seemingly undeterred Besigye told journalists that his arrest was an act meant to stifle political challenge to President Museveni. "This is a political case seeking to remove political challenge to the NRM," he said.
"The struggle is really on, we are dealing with a fascist regime which does not respect legitimate political challenge."
Whereas his last visit to court in 2001 was to accuse President Museveni of rigging the elections, this time round, Besigye is to defend himself.
Additional reporting by KABONA ISIARA & EVELYNE LIRRI