The High Court in Kampala has slashed the Shs30m bail cash term handed to former presidential candidate Dr.Kizza Besigye by Buganda Road Chief Magistrates Court.
Charged with incitement of violence last month, Besigye was released on a shs 30 million cash bail by Grade One Magistrate Siena Owomugisha. The leader of the People’s Front for Transition would later challenge the same terms which he said were excessive.
On Monday, High Court Justice Michael Elubu described the shs30 million cash bail as being excessive and harsh.
“The learned trial magistrate exercised her discretion with material irregularity when she set the bail amount at shs30 million. This condition was manifestly harsh and excessive. It therefore occasioned miscarriage of justice,” the ruling read by the court’s Deputy Registrar, Festo Nsenga.
The court said the offence with which Besigye was charged is not grave and therefore the bail terms should be fair and in tandem with the offence.
“The offence doesn’t attract a very severe punishment. If the court were to impose a fine as punishment and this would be two currency points for each term of punishment and since the maximum punishment is three years, the amount payable would be shs1.4million considering each currency point is shs20,000.”
The judge said bail should not punishment but rather meant to ensure attendance of the accused for the trial.
Consequently, the bail cash term was reduced to shs3 million cash.
“In light of the above, the court is persuaded to reduce the bail cash from shs30 million to shs3 million cash. All the conditions set by the magistrate remain the same.
Besigye is accused of asking the public to join him in protests over the high commodity prices which tantamount to inciting violence contrary to section 51(i) (b) of the Penal Code Act .
“On May 24th, at Arua Park, Muno village, Shauriyako parish in Kampala Central division without lawful excuse at an assembly made statements to members of the public indicating or implying that it would be desirable to demonstrate, an act which was calculated to led to destruction or damage to property,” the magistrate read from the charge sheet.