Members of Parliament have come out to condemn the treason charges preferred today against their colleagues in Gulu.
The Gulu Chief Magistrates Court on Thursday afternoon remanded the newly elected Arua Municipality MP Kassiano Wadri, three other MPs and 30 others to Gulu Main Prison.
The MPs who include; Paul Mwiru, Gerald Karuhanga and the former Makindye East MP, Mike Mabike were charged with Treason, contrary to Section 23 of the Penal Cord Act.
State told court that the suspects on Monday this week, “with intent to harm the person of the President of Uganda, unlawfully aimed and threw stones, thereby hitting and smashing the rear windscreen of the Presidential car.”
MPs Theodore Sekikubo, Monica Amonding, MP Sam Lyomoki, Nakaseke South MP, Luttamaguzi Semakula, speaking in Parliament dismissed these as “trumped up charges,” stressing that MPs participating in elections isn’t a crime.
“No Uganda will ever take it that these citizens committed treason by winning. President Museveni must know that these people still retain their right as human beings. To oppose him doesn’t mean treason,” said Lwemiya County MP, Theodore Sekikubo.
“President Museveni is treading a dangerous ground where even we members of the NRM are ashamed by the so called tramped up charges against our colleagues.”
Kampala central MP, Muhammad Nsereko MP tasked government to explain who tortured Mityana MP Francis Zaake and Kyandondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi.
“This government must answer who tortured Hon. Zaake whose pictures have made rounds on social media, because it is evident that he was not picked from the mob but from his hotel,” Nsereko demanded.
“These MPs didn’t fight anyone, neither did they throw a stone so what crime are they being castigated for. In any case even if there was such a crime, our constitution prohibits treatment of any Ugandan in a degrading and inhumane way.”
Meanwhile, President Museveni on Thursday vowed a tough response to acts of political violence in the country, saying people should be allowed to participate in the electoral processes without fear.
“Why should a Ugandan be beaten, intimidated or have his property or life destroyed on account of politics? With uncontrolled violence in elections, many voters will fear to go for voting. This will mean the disenfranchisement of Ugandans,” he said.
“Why, then, did the Ugandans shed their blood? It was in order for them to run their country through fair and free elections. I will defend that right today and tomorrow as I did in the past.”
He also said “cases of terrorism, damaging property, manslaughter etc against the Hons: Wadri, Bobi Wine, etc will continue. Their actions led to the death of a Ugandan, injury of a number of others and damage to property, so the allegations go.”
Bobi Wine’s driver Yasin Kawuma was killed in the Arua violence.