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Besigye contests UGX10m court award for violation of his rights, wants a revision upto UGX300m

Former FDC party president Dr. Kizza Besigye speaks to the press recently. He wants his UGX 10 million compensation revised to UG300m. (PHOTO/File)

KAMPALA – Opposition linchpin Dr. Kizza Besigye has opposed the UGX. 10 million awarded to him by High Court Judge Musa Ssekaana as compensation for violation of his human rights by the Uganda Police Force, whose officers arrested from the stairs of an aircraft at Entebbe international Airport three years ago.

The retired military colonel instead wants UGX. 300m, and a revision of some of the conclusions of the trial judge as he delivered his ruling.

Through his lawyers of Rwakafuuzi & Company Advocates, Dr. Besigye filed six grounds in his memorandum of appeal before the Court of Appeal.

In his grounds of the appeal, Dr. Besigye is seeking to reverse what he termed as erroneous findings of the trial judge.

He stated that Justice Ssekaana was wrong to rule that his people who had gathered at Entebbe International Airport to welcome him would disrupt and paralyze economic activities hence whisking him away from the stairs of the plane.

Dr. Besigye also faults the judge for erroneously ruling that his arrest and detention was admissible as a preventive arrest and that none of his freedoms to assembly and movement were violated among others.

Justice Ssekaana on March 15, 2019, ordered the government to pay UGX. 10 million to Dr. Besigye after faulting police for arresting him in an undignified manner when he was grabbed by the trousers from the stairs of an aircraft.

While delivering his judgment, Justice Ssekana stated that police ought to have treated Dr Besigye with respect as a former presidential candidate who aspired to occupy the highest office of this country and bad arrest portrayed a bad picture of this country.

The judge however observed in his ruling that although Besigye’s arrest was effected in a rude manner, it was justified because a big number of his supporters were waiting for him to hold a procession to Kampala  which would paralyze economic activities on the Entebbe Highway

However, he declined to fault police for violating Dr Besigye’s right to free movement and association because he (Besigye) ought to have put in regard the requirements of the Public Order Management Act including notifying police of when and the venue he wanted to meet his supporters.

Justice Ssekaana rejected the Shs300 million claim for Besigye as compensation for his violated freedoms and instead awarded him with Shs10million shillings for the embarrassment he was subjected to during the arrest.

Besigye sued the Civil Aviation Authority accusing it of failing to protect his freedoms and rights since he was grabbed on the stairs of Kenya Airways that had just landed at Entebbe Airport.

However, the judge exonerated the authority and held the Attorney General liable for the acts of the Uganda Police Force having realized that it’s the IGP who ordered for Dr Besigye’s arrest and driving him through routes he dint know up to his home in Kasangati.

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