The main opposition party, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), is blaming the judiciary for trying to keep its 2016 presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye imprisoned despite government having ‘lost interest’ in a case of defiance brought against him.
Uganda’s Deputy Chief Justice Steven Kavuma sitting at the Constitutional Court in Kampala today adjourned the FDC and Besigye defiance case until all procedures are followed, with the DCJ saying ‘it’s unfair to go on without Besigye’.
However, speaking to reporters outside court FDC lawyer Ladislaus Rwakafuzi protested the failure by court to issue a production warrant for Mr Besigye, who is key in the hearing. He added that government had lost interest in the case.
Further, Mr Rwakafuzi said it was unfair for DCJ Kavuma to adjourn the case, adding that the DCJ’s pronouncement was a pre-planned move by the government to scuttle Dr Besigye’s defence.
“I think they see it is no longer necessary to pursue the case after achieving their goal of detaining Dr Besigye,” Mr. Rwakafuzi said.
The defiance campaign was launched by the opposition party ahead of the February 2016 elections as a ‘people power’ movement to engender grassroots support for the FDC presidential and parliamentary bids.
However, since the February 20th announcement of President Museveni as the winner of the 2016 elections, the defiance campaign took a new twist that aims at affirming what FDC claims was Dr. Kizza Besigye’s victory in the elections.
It is against this background that DCJ Kavuma, issued an interim order that blocked all activities of FDC that related to the defiance campaign and specifically restricted the movements of Dr. Kizza Besigye, ostensibly until after the 12th May swearing in. the state later asked court to extend the ban, prompting the FDC and Dr Besigye to go to court over the matter.
And, as a sign of protest, Dr Kizza Besigye has since vowed to continue with the defiance campaign, despite being on remand in Luzira prison on treason charges.