We continue to demand that the fabricated and malicious charges be dropped
Earlier today, Monday January 11, 2021, Mr. Nicholas Opiyo appeared before the Anti-Corruption Magistrate’s Court for the mention of the case in which he faces trumped-up money laundering charges. The State Attorney representing the Director of Public Prosecutions informed court that the investigations were incomplete and requested for an adjournment. Court adjourned the matter to January 28, 2020.
We find it deeply troubling that the State initiated criminal proceedings against Mr. Opiyo before investigations would reveal any evidence to sustain the said charges.
We maintain that Mr. Opiyo is innocent and the charges against him are frivolous and an abuse of court process.
It should concern every citizen when laws and institutions meant for their protection are instead weaponized for their persecution and punishment. We are aware of many other Ugandans facing similar baseless and politically motivated charges in courts of law. This perversion of justice is a stain on our institutions and risks corrupting the very basis of our social fabric that relies on the courts to determine all disputes impartially. We cannot expect law governed behavior from citizens if the custodians of the law disregard the laws, abuse them or manipulate them for partisan or personal purposes.
MDC Alliance spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere has been arrested and charged with ‘publishing or communicating false statements prejudicial to the state’ for posting widely circulated video which purported to show a baby killed by a policeman’s baton stick while strapped to its mother.
The arrest comes after Mahere tweeted that police had beaten an infant to death while enforcing Covid-19 lockdown rules this week.
Police later said the information was false.
Mahere is the third person to be arrested for publishing or communicating false statements prejudicial to the state’ for posting widely circulated video after Zimbabwe journalist Hopewell Chin’ono and MDC Alliance lawmaker Job Sikhala.
Chin’ono was the first to be arrested for circulating the video in question. Hopewell Chin’ono spent the weekend in prison after he was arrested by police Friday and charged with publishing or communicating falsehoods while Job Sikhala was arrested on Saturday on same charges & spent the weekend detained at Harare Central Police Station.