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State Absconds From Trial of Ssegirinya, Ssewanyana in Masaka

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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.
MPs Allan Ssegirinya aand Muhammad Ssegirinya, while appearing before Court on Tuesday

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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. 

 //Cue in: (luganda) “naye ow’ekitiibwa….  

 

Cue out: …..to respond to,”//  

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.              

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