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Johannesburg - A Ugandan court has issued arrest warrants for Uganda’s ambassador to Burundi and his bodyguards on charges they assaulted a policewoman and obstructed a police officer on duty earlier this year during a traffic incident.

Mukono Chief Magistrate Juliet Hantanga issued the warrants for retired former General Matayo Kyaligonza and his bodyguards, Corporal Peter Busindiche and Private John Okurut on Monday after they repeatedly failed to show up in court to face earlier summons, the Daily Monitor reported.

Traffic police officer Esther, Namaganda, was assaulted by the men on a highway leading to the capital Kampala in February when she stopped them after they did an illegal U-turn on the road.

The assault was caught on video and circulated on social media leading to angry activists demanding that Kyaligonza be fired from his diplomatic position.

Lawyers for the accused tried to explain why the men had failed to appear before the court saying that as members of the military they were also to be disciplined by the Ugandan People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) and that it was impossible for them to appear before two courts simultaneously.

This assertion was dismissed by the prosecution who counter-argued that as ambassador Kyalingonza was retired he would not be brought before a military tribunal, adding that a repeated failure to front court showed extreme disrespect.

Kyaligonza faces a five-year jail term if convicted for assault occasioning bodily harm according to section 236 of the Penal Code Act. His bodyguards are facing three charges of common assault, obstructing a police officer and assault causing bodily harm.

They are due to appear again in court on June 10.

African News Agency/ANA