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Former Ugandan presidential candidate Kizza Besigye

Kampala, Uganda | AFP | Thursday 6/16/2022 – 11:05

Former Ugandan presidential candidate Kizza Besigye has been charged a second time with inciting violence and remanded to custody barely a week after being released on bail, his lawyer said Thursday.

A long-time critic of President Yoweri Museveni, Besigye, 66, has been leading protests against inflation which has hit Uganda hard as food prices soar due to the war in Ukraine. The four-time presidential candidate was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly inciting violence, the second time he has been slapped with that charge in recent weeks.

“Dr. Besigye and his colleague, Samuel Lubega Makaku, appeared before the court last evening on charges of inciting violence and were remanded to prison,” his lawyer Elias Lukwago told AFP.

“This was a travesty of justice. The two were produced in court late evening and the magistrate knew there was limited time for their defence lawyers to put in bail applications and remanded them until June 17,” he said.

Lubega is also a former presidential candidate.

Besigye was jailed on similar charges last month before being released on bail last week and is expected to appear in court today in connection with the first case.

As discontent has grown over rising prices in the country of 45 million, Museveni has repeatedly ignored calls for tax cuts and subsidies, urging citizens to live frugally instead. Last week, Uganda’s main opposition leader Bobi Wine slammed the government’s decision to purchase limousines for senior parliament officials, attacking it for failing to “prioritise the suffering of Ugandans”.

In his annual state of the nation address last week, Museveni said that “cutting taxes and subsidies, especially on imports, is suicidal because our people may buy carelessly and we end up draining our forex (foreign exchange) reserves.”

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