Veteran Ugandan opposition figure Kizza Besigye has been charged with inciting violence after being arrested the day before while speaking at a protest against skyrocketing consumer prices.
Besigye, 66, was charged with illegally addressing the public and “indicating or implying that it would be desirable to demonstrate, an act calculated to result in destruction or damage to property.”
Besigye has been arrested numerous times and has lost four elections to long-serving President Yoweri Museveni, 77, despite allegations of intimidation and vote rigging. more info
Besigye has called for tax cuts to offset inflation, but Museveni has refused, blaming high prices on the Ukraine war and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Besigye was offered release on bail for a cash payment of 30 million shillings, but his lawyer said he remained in custody as he was not prepared to pay such a steep figure.
“Without any justification you impose such outrageous sums in bail cash,” his lawyer Erias Lukwago told reporters outside court. “This is a travesty of justice, a miscarriage of justice. Our client is extremely aggrieved by that decision.”
Dr Besigye, who was President Yoweri Museveni’s personal doctor during the bush wars before they became bitter political rivals, hash renewed his criticism of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) for doing nothing to cushion vulnerable Ugandans against spiraling inflation.
This is the third time Besigye is being arrested in less than two weeks over his renewed protests.
The arrest comes just hours after President Museveni, in a televised Sunday evening address, ruled out any possibilities of slashing taxes as a measure to curb escalating prices of essential commodities in Uganda.
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