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MPs Ssewanyana, Ssegirinya bail application flops, further remanded

MPs Allan Ssewanyana and Muhammad Ssegirinya appearing before Masaka Grade One court via Zoom link from Kigo Prison on October 13, 2021. PHOTO/MALIK F JJINGO

MASAKA, UGANDA: The Grade One Magistrate in Masaka on Wednesday further remanded two opposition MPs; Hon. Allan Ssewanyana of Makindye West and his counterpart Hon. Muhammad Ssegirinya (Kawempe North) after their bail application went unsuccessful.

Ssegirinya and Ssewanyana who subscribe to the Opposition National Unity Platform (NUP) political party are grappling with criminal charges in connection with recent machete killings in the Masaka Sub-region.

According to State prosecutor, Richard Birivumbuka inquiries into the matter are still ongoing so that the accused persons can be committed to the high court for trial.

The accused persons explained to Masaka Grade One magistrate, Ms. Grace Wakooli that they need specialized treatment for their ailments.

Ssegirinya appearing via a zoom session from Kigo prison said he ‘‘was operated after sustaining various injuries on his right foot during the re-arrest.’’

Ssewanyana appearing in the same video conferencing facility also complained of great pain in the ribs which he also claims to have suffered during his re-arrest.

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Hon. Shamim Malende the Kampala Woman MP who is one of the MPs lawyers said: “It’s unfair that the State wants to take all the six months to complete investigations into this matter. This should end and people finally know those that were behind the attacks that left several people killed.”

The presiding magistrate, Ms. Wakooli ‘reminded’ the lawyers that her court does not have the jurisdiction to handle the matter-  as the court was consequently to October 27 for further case mentioning. 

Mr. Musa Matovu, another defense lawyer urged the court to fix a hearing date for the accused duo’s fresh bail application presented last week, following several failed attempts.  

 “We are aware of the crisscrossing that has come upon this application and we have addressed the matter to the principal judge,” he disclosed.

However, Masaka High Court registrar, Agnes Nkonge October 12 said the new judge, Lawrence Tweyanze, had declined to handle the fresh bail application insisting that her colleague justice, Victoria Nakintu Katamba, who heard the first bail application should as well handle the second one. 

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The MPs are battling four criminal charges of murder, and one of attempted murder, aiding and abetting terrorism. 

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