Police witness shoots himself in foot in attempt to pin Besigye on inciting violence

Police witness shoots himself in foot in attempt to pin Besigye on inciting violence
Superintendent of Police Godwin Agaba testifies against Dr.Besigye on Wednesday.

A senior police officer who took the witness stand found a hard time as he tried to pin Dr Kizza Besigye on inciting violence during the Opposition stalwart's 2022 protest in downtown Kampala.

Senior Superintendent of Police Godwin Agaba, 36, attached to the State House Health Monitoring Unit on Wednesday testified as the second prosecution witness in the case where Besigye was arrested together with Walter Lubega Mukaaku and accused of inciting violence through their red card campaign in June 2022.

Led by senior state attorney, Ivan Kyazze, Agaba told Buganda Road Chief Magistrates Court that in June 2022 when the offence was committed, he was the Division CID officer for CPS in Kampala and consequently preferred charges of incitement of violence against the duo.

“The two accused were suspects in a matter under investigation by CPS. I was called by the DPC then Wotwali Ronald telling me Besigye and Mukaaku were downtown inciting the public. The DPC said he had arrested them and were being brought to CPS. I conducted a search on their bodies and later the vehicle they were in. We recovered a number of items including placards with words “transition now, no to succession, stop stupid succession birthdays, time out, stop the robbery and plunder. Arrest and lock up the corrupt,” Agaba said.

He noted that from the vehicle, they also recovered white and red cards.

“When I asked them, they said none was owner of the vehicle.”

Witness staggers

The senior police officer found a hard time answering questions from Besigye and Mukaaku’s lawyers led by Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago during cross-examination.

When asked whether he was present at the scene of the crime downtown, Agaba said he was only told of what had happened by the DPC.

“I believe by time the DPC brought the information he was at the scene,” he said.

The police officer also told court during the cross-examination that Besigye and Mukaaku were not in the vehicle by the time he got the said evidence of placards.

Whereas he had admitted to having preferred the charges of inciting violence, Agaba faltered when he admitted none of the placards had words to show incitement of violence.

Asked to show proof of any property damaged during Besigye and Mukaaku’s demonstration, Agaba said he didn’t have it.

“As far as I am concerned, I don’t recall any report of property destroyed and any attack against anyone,” Agaba said.

Asked whether any of the words on the placards including stopping unnecessary expenditures and putting more money in health and education sectors were inciting violence, the state witness' answer was vague.

“The government works in different ways but not downtown. The call to rise up was to incite members of the public to attack government officials. It was not done in a proper way.”

The trial magistrate, Winnie Nankya adjourned the case to March, 15, 2024.

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