Ssegirinya, Ssewanyana case hearing pushed to February 2023

Court registrar Pamela Lamunu Ocaya said the postponement was made due to the absence of trial Judge, Alice Komuhangi Khauka.

KAMPALA, UGANDA: The International Crimes Division of the High Court has set February 20, 2023, for the pre-trial proceedings of two jailed MPs Muhammad Ssegirinya and Allan Ssewanyana of Kawempe North and Makindye West constituency respectively.

The duo today appeared via zoom rather than physically appearing before the court when court registrar Pamela Lamunu Ocaya delivered the verdict, saying the action was taken due to the absence of trial Judge, Alice Komuhangi Khauka.

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This means the two legislators together with their four co-accused persons will spend their second Christmas in prison on charges of murder, terrorism, and attempted murder relating to the spate of machete murders that rocked the greater Masaka Region in 2021.

However, one of the lawyers representing the two MPs, Mr Samuel Muyizzi Mulindwa explained that due to Ebola/COVID-19 restrictions, they have denied them an opportunity to have access to their clients and sign crucial documents to enable them to file a constitutional petition challenging their trial and wondered why Masaka High Court has delayed fixing bail applications.

“We have been denied access to our clients. We therefore can’t sign crucial documents to enable file a constitutional petition challenging the trial. I wonder why Masaka High Court has delayed fixing bail applications,” he said.

He added that since prison authorities barred members of the public from accessing inmates for fear of spread of Ebola and COVID-19, it has been difficult for them to talk to their clients to swear and file supporting affidavits to their petitions.

The Charges

Ssegirinya and Ssewanyana are being accused of being masterminds behind the killings in greater Masaka that claimed the lives of at least 26 residents between February and August last year.

September 7, 2022, marked a year since the duo was arrested and detained before being sent on remand to Luzira prison.

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