Nakawa Chief Magistrate’s Court has issued criminal summons for the former Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) presidential candidate, Dr. Kiiza Besigye, who is battling charges of treason for the fifth time.
Court documents indicate that Besigye has never returned to court since 2018 after he vowed never to report to court in connection to his treason case until prosecution is ready to proceed with the matter.
Today, state prosecutor Rachael Nabwire requested Grade One Magistrate Romans Ponsiano Odwori to issue the summons after Besigye failed to turn up in court again.
Your worship, I pray you issue summons against the accused for not surfacing in court,” she requested.
Nabwire also informed court that investigations on the matter were still ongoing. “I pray that you adjourn the case to the next convenient date to allow the police complete investigations.”
The prompted the magistrate to adjourn the case to May 2, 2019 for mention.
Prosecution alleges that Besigye between February 18 and May 11, planned to forcefully ascend to the Office of the President when he declared himself the elected president of Uganda.
Prosecution further alleges that Besigye incited people to defy police orders to attend his illegal swearing in ceremony in a non-specified place with the intention of overthrowing the government.
According to DPP, the act is against the legal prescribed processes through which one can ascend himself into the Office of the President.
Besigye is contesting the outcome of the February 18 presidential election in which he emerged runner-up.
Currently, Besigye reports to the criminal registrar of the High Court in Kampala twice a month for the renewal of his bail application.
On January 30, 2018, Besigye filed a Constitutional petition challenging section 23 (2) (a) of the Penal Code Act (PCA) under which the charge of treason was brought against him, contending that it contravenes Article 28 (12) and 29 of the Constitution.
“Requiring me to appear repeatedly for an unforeseeable, immeasurable and prolonged duration before a magistrate’s court for purpose of mention in respect of the offence of treason contravenes the constitution,” starts part of the petition filed by Besigye.
He says failure by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) to commit him to high court within 180 days for trial is contrary to Article 28 (1) and 120 (5) of the Constitution.
Besigye, therefore, wants court to order his trial be permanently stayed and cleared of the offence.
He also seeks a court pronouncement that a person charged with an offence only triable by the High Court of Uganda must be committed to the high court for trial within and not later than 180 days.