Lukwago, Prisons differ on MP Ssewanyana’s health

Makindye West MP Allan Ssewanyana (left) and his Kawempe North counterpart Muhammad Ssegirinya at the International War Crimes Division Court in Kololo, Kampala, on September 28, 2022. PHOTO/ABUBAKER LUBOWA.

Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago yesterday claimed Makindye West Member of Parliament Allan Ssewanyana was fighting for his life at Murchison Bay Hospital in Luzira. 
Mr Lukwago, who is the lead lawyer of two imprisoned MPs; Ssewanyana and Kawempe North MP Muhammad Ssegirinya, told this publication that the legislator was experiencing severe chest pain, with swollen body parts.

“I was there with a team of doctors who were trying to examine him, but they are yet to tell exactly what is disturbing him. He can hardly walk, or talk. They are using gadgets to help him eat some food. He cannot eat solid food,” he said.  
“He complains of chest pain. The suspicion is that it could be about his internal organs, probably the kidney, heart, or liver,’’ the Lord Mayor added.

Mr Lukwago said the doctors at Murchison Bay Hospital advised that Mr Ssewanyana needs to be taken to a better facility, but they “were only held up by the bureaucracy, since they needed a medical certificate from the medical superintendent’’.
He added that the superintendent was yet to clear the MP to undergo an examination using high-tech techniques such as Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or CT scan.
MRI is a medical imaging technique that uses a magnetic field and computer-generated radio waves to create detailed images of the organs and tissues in a patient’s body. 
The Prisons spokesperson, Mr Frank Baine, however, said the MP’s condition was being managed at the prison’s hospital.  He denied allegations that Mr Ssewanyana was in critical condition and needed to be referred to another hospital.

“He came to Murchison Bay last Friday due to ulcers. When he was recovering, he complained that he still had some pain. We brought him back to Murchison Bay Hospital to carry out the tests because it is the national referral hospital for prisoners. He was here to just carry out some tests and go back. As we talk, he could be on his way back to Kigo Prison. We are very cautious about the health of prisoners,” Mr Baine said.
 He added that the Lord Mayor did not meet Mr Ssewanyana since he arrived at the prison premises late.

“The prison closes by 4pm. The Lord Mayor was there at 5.15pm. After prisoners have entered, we cannot open,” he said.  
Mr Ssewanyana was this week transferred from Kigo prison to Murchison Bay following his ill health. 
The MPs are on remand in prison in connection with the August 2021 machete killings in Greater Masaka region.
The legislators’ trial has never kicked off and their numerous attempts to get out on bail have hit a dead end.