Kizza Besigye And Bail: The Struggle For Personal Liberty Trumped

Took it to the streets like he is famously known for, the humble but assertive good doctor defied the odds of a home confinement and cruised in his monster land cruiser to it attached megaphones as he rallied the masses in what he described as an awareness call to wake up, a reaction to the ever rising and uncontrolled prices of commodities.

Of course, the retired colonel attracted thousands at Arua pack, in the thousands was a battalion that did not just disperse the masses but as well after failure of a breakdown brought a heavy duty police vehicle that dragged Besigye’s monster land cruiser to the Central Police station.

Charged with incitement of violence and later upon application for bail, amongst the conditions was 30 million payable in cash, a devastated Besigye protested and chose not to pay the 30 million, which according to many Ugandans, is something the person of Dr Kizza Besigye should be able to afford or rather solicit from his supporters. However, the retired colonel choose to remain behind bars as he instructed his lawyers to apply for review of the magistrate’s bail condition at the high court.

Indeed, the high court agreed with Besigye and his lawyers that 30 million Ugandan shillings was excessive and harsh as a bail condition and thus slashed it to three million Ugandan shillings. Besigye through his tweeter handle indicates that the three million is still a high condition for bail, nonetheless, he paid and was granted the bail.

The reasoning in Besigye’s prolonged detention manifests in the result of the High Court after review, a precedent it has set in a county where almost everyone is a potential suspect, is that everyone is a potential beneficiary. And while you may mistakenly or with malice be charged, because of the assertive doctor, your bail conditions especially the financial aspect maybe lower than could have been before his most recent arrest.

Writer: BARYAMUJURA MAHAD is passionate about social justice.


Frank Byaruhanga is a human rights activist with years of experience in community dialogues, digital communication, advocacy and digital campaigns. He specializes in Media Relation Work, Management and Training with sufficient knowledge in Governance, Accountability, Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights, Youth-led research, Content developer, Creative Activism, Social Media Management and documentary photography.

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