An opposition Ugandan lawmaker, Robert Kyagulanyi, was charged with treason on Thursday over his alleged role in the stoning of President Yoweri Museveni’s convoy on August 13.
A magistrate court ordered that Mr Kyagulanyi should be remanded in custody until August 30 and granted him access to private doctors, citing the “health of the accused”, according to footage broadcast on private broadcaster NBS Uganda.
Mr Kyagulanyi, who only entered parliament in 2017, has been left unable to stand after being beaten while in detention, his lawyer said, citing relatives, who visited him.
But the Ugandan government said the assault accusation was “rubbish”.
In the TV footage, Mr Kyagulanyi was seen walking with one crutch and the assistance of prison wardens when entering the courtroom.
Earlier on Thursday, a separate military court dropped charges of unlawful weapons possession against the lawmaker, a popular musician whose songs’ biting criticism of Museveni’s government has won him a large youth following.
His detention, along with four other politicians critical of Mr Museveni, sparked two days of anti-government demonstrations in the capital, Kampala, and other parts of the country on Monday.
Three other lawmakers and dozens of other people have also been charged with treason over their alleged role in the convoy stoning.
Separately, police arrested two opposition politicians on Thursday for defying orders not to leave their homes after police placed them under “preventative arrest” to try to head off further unrest.
Ugandan police spokesman, Emilian Kayima, said police had received “intelligence reports that these leaders were inciting people to riot yet they have other lawful avenues, like petitioning a higher court, to seek redress about their fate of their colleague”.
“We don’t want to experience what we went through on Monday,” he said, referring to a demonstration in Kampala at which Ugandan police fired tear gas and military units were deployed to disperse protesters.
Representatives of several prominent opposition politicians had said on social media that they had been prevented from leaving home and that they had planned to attend Mr Kyagulanyi’s court appearance.
Protesters and opposition supporters accused Mr Museveni, in power since 1986, of stifling dissent through intimidation, beatings and detentions, charges which his government denies.
In October, 2017 when parliament was debating whether to remove a constitutional age limit that would have barred Museveni from seeking re-election in 2021, security forces and protesters clashed on the streets and two protesters died.
The presidential age limit has since been removed.
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