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Court of Appeal Yet to Hear Ssegirinya, Ssewanyana Bail Review Application

The Judiciary Spokesperson Jamson Karemani, says that the Court of Appeal has already received the application but they have not yet constituted a panel to hear it.
19 Jan 2022 08:22
The Judiciary Public Relations Officer Jamson Karemani.

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The Court of Appeal is yet to institute a three-member panel of justices to hear an application for review of the decision that denied bail to two Members of Parliament Muhammad Ssegirinya and Allan Ssewanyana.

The MPs together with seven others were first arraigned before Masaka Chief Magistrates Court presided over by Charles Yeteise and charged with terrorism, aiding and abetting terrorism, three counts of murder, and attempted murder. This was in relation to the machete killings that took place in Lwengo and Masaka Districts between June and August 2021.

However, on September 21 2021 the group was granted bail by the Masaka High Court Judge Victoria Nakintu Katamba after their lawyers Erias Lukwago and Shamim Malende told Court that their clients were suffering from grave illnesses like hypertension and kidney which couldn't be managed inside prisons.

Nakintu ordered the MPs to pay a cash bail of 20 million Shillings each cash and their respective sureties were bonded at 100 million non-cash.

However, shortly after fulfilling the orders of Nakintu, the two legislators were separately rearrested from the outskirts of Kigo prisons on September 23rd and 26th 2021. 

On September 29 2021, they were reproduced before Yeteise’s court and charged with the murder of Joseph Bwanika a resident of Kankamba Village Kisekka Sub-county in Lwengo District after they had reportedly raided the deceased's home on the night of August 2, 2021. 

The MPs had to apply for bail on the new murder charge.

On October 25, 2021, Masaka High Court Judge Lawrence Tweyanze denied them bail on grounds that they are accused of a string of Capital offenses that all attract a maximum of the death penalty. Accordingly, Tweyanze noted that the MPs are most likely to flee from justice, and given their position in society as lawmakers, they will interfere with the trial process.

He directed the prison authorities to ensure that they can get treatment for their sicknesses.

However, addressing Journalists at Buganda Road Court on Tuesday, the MPs lawyer Shamim Malende said that a few days ago they filed an application for review of the decision by Justice Tweyanze on bail in the Court of Appeal.

According to Malende, her clients are still innocent but the Judge acted on speculation to deny them bail without any evidence that they would flee from justice yet the law doesn’t work on speculation.

She argues that the MPs are still innocent until proven guilty and that they are legislators who have fixed places of abode and substantial sureties and they have never absconded from bail.

 

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The Judiciary Spokesperson Jamson Karemani, says that the Court of Appeal has already received the application but they have not yet constituted a panel to hear it.

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Meanwhile, the hearing of the case in which Ssegirinya is accused of inciting violence didn't take place after the State Attorney Joan Keko told the court presided over by Grade One Magistrate Siena Owomugisha that the prosecutor Moses Mugisha was away at Nakawa Court on other official purposes.  

Owomugisha who is now the second Magistrate to handle this case after the transfer of Doreen Karungi has issued summons to witnesses and adjourned the case to February 24 2022 for the trial to commence. 

The prosecution alleges that between August and September 2020 while in Kampala, Ssegirinya alias Mr. Update made statements on his Facebook page "Ssegirinya Muhammad Fans Page " calculated to incite the public to participate in violence against a section or group of Ugandans.

He is quoted to have posted. "I am warning those who are trying to assassinate Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu that what will happen will be forty times worse than the 1994 Rwandan genocide". At least more than 1million people are believed to have been slaughtered in ethnic cleansing within 100 days.

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