Besigye charged with treason for ‘swearing in’ himself
Uganda’s opposition leader Kiiza Besigye has been charged with treason after swearing in himself as the country’s president.
Besigye, 60, was read the charges before Moroto’s Chief magistrate’s court on Friday but was not allowed to make a plea, because the offence can only be prosecuted by the High Court.
These charge(s) police say, are related to a video clip that circulated online, which showed Besigye being ‘sworn in’ as the country’s President on the eve of President Yoweri Museveni’s formal swearing in on May 12.
According to media reports, Uganda’s Government immediately effected the closure of all social media platforms in the country. Besigye was later arrested and flown in a chopper to Moroto, Northern Uganda, some 500km away from the capital Kampala.
Charges of treason attract a life sentence or death punishment according to Uganda’s Penal code.
Meanwhile, Besigye, who has vigorously contested the outcome of Uganda’s February Presidential Elections, is yet to record a statement on the matter, and has also been denied a chance to speak to his legal team.
Ugandan leading daily paper, the Daily Monitor, reported that Besigye was driven to the courts by a strong team of counter-terrorism police unit that threatened to shoot journalists who would take photos of Besigye in court.