Ariong Death: Court Summons Besigye, Lukwago
Opposition leader Col. Kizza Besigye is facing charges of holding an unlawful assembly that led to the death of police officer John Bosco Ariong last week.
Top FDC leader Anne Mugisha has confirmed Besigye was on Monday served criminal summons to appear at Buganda Road Court on Wednesday over Ariong’s killing.
The decision to charge Besigye is likely to stoke tension between opposition supporters and security forces thus leading to another era of violence and bloodshed.
Already, FDC leaders have started mobilizing their supporters to appear at the Court in a show of solidarity.
Besigye will face court alongside Kampala Mayor Erias Lukwago, Kawempe counterpart Hajji Munyagwa, MP Nabillah Naggayi and Ingrid Turinawe.
The move to charge the trio followed a police statement issued last week in which the force blamed the cop’s death on an illegal rally held in Kampala by the three politicians.
Police said Ariong was killed in a violent assembly along Kampala Road.
“Assistant Inspector of Police Ariongo John Bosco, a 48 year old officer with 26 years of service to the Police Force died enroute to hospital having been hit by a rock to his head,” police deputy publicist Judith Nabakooba said in a statement last week.
“The murdered officer had been deployed as part of an operation to ensure the maintenance of public order during an illegal procession led by Dr Kizza Besigye… Uganda Police Force states its absolute determination to bring those responsible for the death to justice. I wish to reiterate that wanton violence against Police officers on duty shall be sternly dealt with to the full extent of the law,” she concluded.
Following the serious accusation, opposition responded by labeling police’s allegations as outrageous fabrications aimed at persecuting the three politicians.
They further alleged Ariong was not hit by a rock but a bullet.
FDC Defence Secretary John Kazoora last week said he had checked Ariong’s body at Mulago Referral Hospital and discovered a bullet wound on the cop’s forehead.
Activists for Change further noted that Lukwago notified police in writing about the planned tour of Kampala and his letter was acknowledged.
“The police was therefore fully aware of the activity that took place on Wednesday and in fact they joined the touring party early on and walked along until the time they decided to disrupt the Lord Mayor’s legitimate activity,” MP Nandala Mafabi told press at Parliament last week.
“The visit went on smoothly with the population expressing excitement and jubilation upon seeing their leaders taking an active interest in their welfare.
The police joined the group of leaders almost at the beginning of the visit and moved alongside them on Kafumbe Mukasa Road, Namirembe Road and on to Ben Kiwanuka Road; without incident,” he said.
“The situation only changed for the worse when the Lord Mayor was stopped from proceeding along Ben Kiwanuka Road bringing his visit to a premature halt.
Once the Mayor and his entourage were stopped, the crowd around them grew bigger but it was still a happy crowd until Police decided to disperse the crowd by brutally beating innocent people with batons and spraying them with teargas and pepper spray. Police’s brutal actions were uncalled for and it was their actions that led to unfortunate scenes of violence, which we condemn strongly,” the leader of opposition added.
Mafabi said the death of Ariong had given the government a new platform to intensify repression against opposition activists.
Police have so far charged ten opposition leaders with the murder of Ariong and arrested dozens over the bloody incident.
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Updated on 2013-06-04 10:39
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