‘People Power’ Activist Freed after Court Renders ‘Fake News’ Charge Non-existent

Moses Bigirwa speaking to reporters outside the LDC court in Kampala on Wednesday.

Court has released Moses Bigirwa, a UYD activist affiliated to Bobi Wine’s ‘People Power’ movement, on grounds that the charge – publication of false news – put against him does not exist in Uganda’s law.

Bigirwa was arrested on December 29, shortly after a radio talkshow on the Bwaise based Top Radio and arraigned before the LDC Court on Friday last week where he was charged with publication of false news. Court then deferred his bail application hearing to today, Wednesday January 9.

Prosecution alleged that Bigirwa went to the radio and said that the NRM government had planned to kill Kyadondo East lawmaker, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine during the violence which ensued during the Arua Municipality MP by elections in August last year.

Today, the presiding Grade One Magistrate, Rosslyn Nsege, dismissed the charge against Bigirwa and released him unconditionally on grounds that it is “non-existent” in the country’s law books.

“I find that the same charge is fatally defective,” the Magistrate said.

Court has given both prosecution and defence a fortnight to file their written submissions and return to court on January 21.

While speaking to reporters, Bigirwa said that arresting him has not scared him, but rather re-energized him not to relent on the struggle.

“This arrest has motivated me to keep pushing the struggle forward. Museveni didn’t give up in 1971 when Amin toppled a government he was subscribing to, he only found an alternative. So, we are also still determined to keep pressing”, Bigirwa added.

He further said he considers suing the Police officers who arrested him on false accusations, describing them as incompetent.

He said that the number of the youths in detention on different counts which he says is high, worried him while in custody and asked the Judiciary to rise and have them released since according to him, could also be on tramped up charges like his case.

Regarding the charge against him, Bigirwa commented: “It was a doctored case. These are some of the cases which happened before Jesus Christ was born. These are some of the cases that were being used by some dictators like Mussolini and Adolf Hitler in Germany”.

“These kinds of cases can not be used to oppress us who want change in Uganda. But I want to thank the judiciary, at least for the first time, they have discovered the truth,” he added.

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