The court couldn’t proceed due to the absence of the prosecutor. At some point, the magistrate was prompted to adjourn court for 20 minutes to allow the prosecutor more time to show up or send a representative in vain.
The trial of the embattled
Makindye West Member of Parliament, Allan Ssewanyana, and his Kawempe North counterpart, Muhammad Ssegirinya for murder suffered a setback on Tuesday morning due to the absence of the lead prosecutor. Masaka Chief Resident State Attorney, Richard Birivumbuka was no show when the matter came up for trial.
There was no record of communication on the court file. The two legislators are on remand in Kigo Prisons for the murder of Joseph Bwanika, a former
resident of Kisekka Sub County in Lwengo district in August this year. The two legislators appeared before Masaka
Grade One Magistrate,
Christine Nantege for further mention of their case and to receive an update on the investigations.
However, the court couldn’t
proceed due to the absence of the prosecutor. At
some point, the magistrate was prompted to adjourn court for 20 minutes to
allow the prosecutor more time to show up or send a representative in vain. She noted that besides
reading out the charges
to the accused persons, the court
could not give the status
of the investigations without
the lead prosecutor.
She thereby deferred the
matter up to January 05th, 2022
Prior to the adjournment, the magistrate issued express
orders to prison authorities to allow the accused
persons to access specialized medical services in facilities of their choice. It came after the two MPs complained that prison
authorities are reluctant to provide them with the required
healthcare as earlier directed by the court.
Ssewanyana complained that besides denying them specialized
medical care, there were also attempts by the prisons warders to block them
from freely addressing the court
about their plight by interfering with the internet connectivity and equipment. Nantege cautioned the prisons authorities to desist
from violating the suspects’
rights and accordingly directed
that the prisons be served with fresh orders.
(luganda) “naye ow’ekitiibwa….
Cue out: …..to respond
The accused’s lawyer, Shamim
Malende also prayed to the court to further restrain prison authorities from
blocking her from accessing her
clients, which she said is slowing down the gathering of evidence for their
defense. The two MPs and nine others are also facing seven charges of murder,
terrorism, and abetting terrorism
for which they were earlier committed to the high court for trial.