Uganda: Kizza Besigye Charged With Treason

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Uganda’s main opposition leader and biggest rival to President Yoweri Museveni has been charged with treason.

Besigye was arrested last Wednesday in Kampala, a day before Museveni was sworn in for his fifth term as president. The opposition leader has been subject to arbitrary arrests since the election process began earlier this year.

 

Treason charges

Besigye has always maintained he was the rightful winner of the February polls and vowed to contest the result. However, his extended house arrest prevented him from submitting his case against the election. President Museveni has denied allegations of vote rigging and accused Besigye of attempting to incite violence in the country.

The opposition leader’s latest arrest comes after staging an unofficial ceremony where Besigye was “sworn in” as the President of Uganda.

The opposition leader was promptly arrested and taken to Moroto his lawyerErias Lukwago said on Friday.

“We have been informed by police today that Besigye appeared in court in Moroto and was charged with treason,” said Mr Lukwago.

 

Besigye refused representation

Lukwago also says his client has been denied legal representation and will remain in custody until his next appearance in court, which is scheduled for May 25. This isn’t the first time Besigye has faced charges of treason either. In 2005, he returned to Uganda from exile only to be charged with treason and accused of rape. Both charges were eventually dropped and his supporters maintain they were fabricated to prevent him from running for the 2006 elections. Besigye did go on to run for the elections, however, claiming the results were fraudulent after Museveni won with 59% to his 39%.

 

Featured image: YouTube