Ugandan opposition leader Dr Kizza Besigye has been charged with treason in the remote northeastern Uganda district of Moroto near the Kenyan border, and remanded.
Dr Besigye was on Friday driven to the Chief Magistrate’s Court a few minutes to 7pm and the charge read to him before he was remanded until May 25. Reporters in the area said the process lasted just a few minutes.
He was not represented by a lawyer during the brief hearing presided over by Chief Magistrate Charles Yettise.
Shortly before he was driven to court, a helicopter appeared in Moroto in what was seen as a plan to transfer him back to Kampala, but it flew away.
Chapter VII of the Penal Code states that any person who levies war against the Republic of Uganda; unlawfully causes or attempt to cause the death of the President or, with intent to maim or disfigure or disable, unlawfully wounds or does any harm to the person of the President, or aims at the person of the President any gun, offensive weapon, pistol or any description of firearms, whether the same contains any explosive or destructive substance or not; contrives any plot, act or matter and expresses or declares such plot, act or matter by any utterance or by any overt act in order, by force of arms, to overturn the government as by law established; aids or abets another person in the commission of the foregoing acts, or becomes an accessory before or after the fact to any of the foregoing acts, or conceals any of the foregoing acts commits an offence and shall suffer death.
Dr Besigye, who garnered 35.6 per cent of the vote in the February 18 polls won by President Museveni was arrested on Wednesday in Kampala after he swore himself in as “the people’s president of the government of national unity.”
He was later transferred to Moroto, over 600km from the capital Kampala.
President Museveni was sworn-in in a colourful ceremony attended by more than a dozen current and former heads of state in Kampala.
Besigye and his Forum for Democratic Change party claim that the President was fraudulently declared winner, and that Besigye won with at least 52 per cent of the vote.