The Grade One Magistrate Court in Entebbe yesterday found substance in the case against Kitigum Woman MP Beatrice Anywar on two counts of obstructing traffic and assaulting a police officer during last year’s walk to work demonstration.
Court ordered Ms Anywar to produce evidence in her defence before judgement is passed. “Court has found substance in this case and hereby orders you to adduce your evidence either video, audio or witnesses,” Entebbe Magistrate Hellen Ajio said yesterday.
Prosecution lined up seven witnesses accusing Ms Anywar of obstructing traffic and assaulting police officer Christine Namale. According to the charge sheet, MP Awyar failed to comply with lawful orders on April 14, 2011 at Zana round-about when two police officers stopped her from walking to obstruct traffic, a charge under the Traffic and Road Safety Act. She also reportedly assaulted a police officer while executing her duty the same day in contravention of Section 238 of the Penal Code Act.
Ms Namale told court that while executing her duties at Kajjansi, she found MP Anywar walking in the middle of the road with about 60 to 70 people and ordered her to board the police patrol truck. “She agreed and on leaving the vehicle, pounced on me to beat me up,” Ms Namale said, backing her testimony with hospital documents.
However, although defence lawyer Jackson Kafuzi dismissed the documents, calling them faulty because the hospital case was reported some time after the incident had happened.
Ms Anywar after the court session said the move is a ploy by government to keep her away from her duties. “It’s very unfortunate that the State uses its institutions and respected entities to prosecute opposition politicians,” she said.
Magistrate Hellen Agio ordered Ms Anywar to provide her evidence on August 29 before court passes a ruling. Opposition politicians staged work-to- walk protests early last year over escalating commodity prices.