Police Monday morning deployed heavily in Kabale town as five opposition leaders including former Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye returned to court to answer charges of inciting violence.
Besigye is charged alongside Kampala city Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, Rukungiri Municipality MP Roland Kaginda, FDC Secretary for mobilisation Ingrid Turinawe, Kawempe south MP Mubarak Munyagwa and the Western Regional Forum for Democratic party Chairperson, Imamu Makumbi.
They were jointly charged with inciting violence at a rally in Kabale Municipality stadium in 2012 during the walk-to-work protests.
The state alleges that four police officers were injured and three police vehicles vandalized in the melee.
Today the government presented its third witness Aropu John Bosco to pin the politicians before Kabale Grade One Magistrate Raphael Vueni.
Comedy ensued when Aropu, a state witness and current DPC of Kibaale was being cross-examined by the opposition lawyer.
Aropu who was the then Kabale DPC in 2012, ended up proving to court that the opposition members never committed the crime they were accused of.
This is what happened:
Lawyer: Who threw stones?
Aropu: People–the population.
Lawyer: Can you confirm that none of the accused threw stones?
Lawyer: Have you ever told a lie?
Lawyer [produces statement]: Can you confirm this is the statement you recorded?
Lawyer: When did you record it?
Aropu: On 17th August 2012.
Lawyer: You have just told us Dr. Besigye refused to take the route you directed him to, you say he blocked the road, can you read for us paragraph 8 of your statement?
Aropu [reading]:…a double cabin pick up grey in colour driven by gentleman called Arthur packed across the road we had agreed to diverting all other cars to the opposite side”… (Round of laughter)
Lawyer: Is Arthur among the accused?
Aropu: That is the role of the prosecutor (Another round of laughter)
Lawyer: Answer the question, yes or no?
Lawyer: Does that pick up belong to Dr. Besigye or any of the accused?
Lawyer: Can you confirm Dr. Besigye is not the one that blocked the road?
Aropu: Yes. [bouts of laughter]
According to URN, security was heightened within the municipality, with several patrol vehicles and water cannons stationed along major roads in Kabale municipality.
Deployment is visible at Butobere junction, Makanga road, Bugongi Junction and Kabale Garage Street among others.
Several police officers are also posted near FDC party offices at Humura House along the Kabale – Katuna road.
But Leopold Twesigye, a member of the Forum for Democratic change told URN that police is trying to instil fear among the FDC supporters who would like to show solidarity to their leaders.
He however says that this will not stop people from turning up in large numbers.