Attorney General says case is frivolous

Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) president Dr Kizza Besigye is seeking the Constitutional Court’s interpretation of the police action of “easing” themselves around his residence.

The retired UPDF colonel, who on October 28, through his lawyers, A.F Mpanga Advocates, filed a petition to this court challenging his ‘preventive arrest’ by the police at his Kasangati residence, has now added the allegation of police answering nature’s call on his land and exposing him and the community to risk of contracting diseases.

In the petition, an aggrieved Besigye alleges that while participating in the walk-to-work campaign protesting high prices of fuel and essential commodities, he was unlawfully arrested on October 18 and detained for a week under the pretext of ‘preventive arrest’, an act he contends is inconsistent with the constitution.

In his affidavit supporting the petition, Besigye states, among other things, that during this illegal detention, several policemen and other security operatives were not equipped with mobile sanitation facilities, yet they were deployed on his land and around his residence 24 hours a day.

“They eased themselves in the paddocks and farmland and contaminated the public well, which is on my land, thereby exposing me and neighbouring residents to the threat of disease,” Besigye, a medical doctor, states in the three-page affidavit.

Police became a laughing stock during Besigye’s detention over their lack of toilet facilities. This was after Besigye was caught on camera refusing the cops to use his toilet. Later on, a group of cheeky Makerere University students showed up at Besigye’s home with, among other things, a potty supposedly for the policemen to use. During Besigye’s house arrest, the deputy regional police commander (Operations) ASP Sam Omara and police force spokespersons, Ibn Senkumbi and Judith Nabakooba, told the nation that his home would remain besieged until he renounced any intention to participate in the walk-to-work protests, which police maintain are illegal.

But Besigye is seeking compensation for the “unlawful” arrest and detention, citing article 23(7) of the constitution. He says during the week-long detention, he was unable to conduct his lawful business. Besigye also wants court to bar the government from detaining him under preventive arrest.

“Grant a permanent order restraining the government and its organisations from detaining the petitioner at his residence under the pretext of preventive arrest and detention,” the petition says.

However, referring to the petition as “misconceived, frivolous and vexatious”, and one that raises no issues for interpretation, the Attorney General, in response, says Besigye is not entitled to any remedies or relieves.

“The petition is misconceived, lacks merit, is bad in law and does not give rise to matters for interpretation. It discloses no cause of action whatsoever as against the respondent,” states state attorney Ester Nyangoma in her affidavit in support of the Attorney General.

During his detention, Besigye sued the Inspector General of Police at Kasangati Magistrate’s court. David Mpanga, Besigye’s lead attorney, argued that his client had been arrested twice and taken to his home, which is not a lawfully gazetted area of detention.

The magistrate, Jessica Chemeri, ruled that it was wrong for Besigye to be detained for more than 48 hours without charge, and ordered his immediate release. The police withdrew from his home shortly before this judgement.

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0 #1 Brenda Turakira 2011-12-08 05:56
Lol.... Uganda and it's never ending drama! I feel like am reading a script from fun factory.
0 #2 kabayekka 2011-12-08 08:35
This medical gentleman was warned by many opposition mates not to participate in the recently rigged election. He refused. Look now what he and his farm animals are getting back in kind.
0 #3 captmuhesisi 2011-12-08 23:26
MU7,Kayihura and NRA never had toilets in the bush and so they just eased them selves everywhere on people,using the opportunity of people being away from thier houses and land.

It is this same habbit that they send thier armed men read the police to Besigye's home expecting them to ease them selves in banana plantation..... after all if you see Mu7's photo when he first visited his father, there was no toilet at his father's home. I was taught that charity begins at home....Mu7 had no toilet at his parents home......walik uwa wanayenda kwa musituni....
0 #4 Let Freedom Ring 2011-12-09 09:00
AG would you consider it frivolous if 20 or so grown men came and sorrounded your home for a week and treating you to a cocktail of all sorts of excreta!? Think before you talk, sir.
0 #5 Jonathan Kalani 2011-12-09 18:53
The AG's response is not professional. Besigye has a point.
0 #6 kacera 2011-12-11 14:52
It is absurd that most senior government working officials think they are working in PRESIDENT Musevenis farm. why do they defend things that are seen in the public eye and the in general.Learn to be straight forward and die a ugandan.

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