KAMPALA – The Constitutional Court has dismissed the petition in which Dr Kizza Besigye sought to have the charge of preventive arrest repealed from the Police Act.
Five justices led by Fredrick Egonda-Ntende on Monday dismissed the petition that has been in the Justice system for nine years after Besigye and his lawyers from A.F. Mpanga and Company Advocates failed to turn up in court for its hearing. Other Justices on the panel were Elizabeth Musoke, Cheborion Barishaki, Muzamiru Kibeedi and Irene Mulyagonja.
Besigye’s petition has also been dismissed after the Attorney General’s representative, State Attorney Charity Nabaasa told the justices that government had not yet filed its response to the petition.
Nabaasa argued that the State Attorney familiar with the case had been placed under COVID-19 quarantine and as such, the Attorney General did not put in their response to the petition.
However, Judiciary Public Relations Officer Jameson Karemani has clarified that Besigye can have the case reinstated if he or his lawyers are wiling to show up for the hearing.
Besigye filed his petition on October 28, 2011, through his lawyers of A.F Mpanga ten days after he had been arrested during the protests of walk to work and put under house arrest on what the police termed as preventive arrest.
The protests in question were started on April 11, 2011 by Activists for Change (A4C) and other opposition politicians who were protesting the high commodity and fuel prices in the country.
As a result, Besigye was on October 18, 2011, reportedly arrested on the orders of the then Regional Police Commander for Kampala North, Stephen Tanui, a few meters from his home as he walked to Najjanankumbu for official duties.
Besigye alleges that he was put on a police pickup and taken to Kasangati police station from where they told him that he was under preventive arrest. He was reportedly taken back to his home where he found dozens of security officers led by the then Rapid Response Unit officer Joel Aguma who also put him under house arrest.
Court also heard that a large numbers of police officers and security detectives commanded by the then Deputy Regional Police Commander Operations for KMP ASP Sam Omala occupied his farm land and stopped his guests, employees and relatives from accessing him.