What you need to know:
- The two MPs who were arrested separately as they left Kigo prison after being released on bail were on Wednesday arraigned before Masaka Chief Magistrate, Charles Yeteise and charged with the murder of one Joseph Bwanika.
Makindye West MP Allan Ssewanyana and his Kawempe North counterpart, Muhammad Ssegirinya have been charged with a new offence of murder and remanded to Kigo prison.
The two MPs who were rearrested separately as they left Kigo prison after being released on bail were on Wednesday arraigned before Masaka Chief Magistrate, Charles Yeteise and charged with the murder of one Joseph Bwanika.
Prosecution states that Ssegirinya and Ssewanyana caused the death of Bwanika, a resident of Kisekka B village, Kankamba parish in Lwengo District on August 2, 2021.
However, they were not allowed to take plea or apply for bail because Masaka Chief Magistrate’s Court does not have the jurisdiction to try murder which is a capital offence in nature.
The state also amended the old charge sheet to include one more suspect one Jackson Kanyike (accused number seven).
According to the amended charge sheet, the two MPs were allegedly financing Kanyike to commit acts of terrorism and that he (Kanyike) also participated in the murders that happened in Masaka sub region where close to 30 people were killed.
The MPs are expected to return to court on October 13, 2021 for mention of the cases.
Kampala Woman MP, who doubles as one of the legislators’ lawyers, told journalists after court proceedings that they intend to apply for bail in the High Court, on grounds that the legislators need to go for specialized medical treatment which has not been provided to them in detention.
This, according to Ms Malende was worsened by the physical torture and brutality meted against the two MPs by the security operatives who re-arrested them.
“They are in a very bad health state. They were tortured and as you may have witnessed they came [to court] limping yet they have health complications which was our major reason as to why we asked for bail which the court had granted to them before they were re-arrested. We want court to prevail over security operatives who make court orders nugatory,” Ms Malende said.
Mr Ssewanyana was rearrested on September 23, 2021 as he walked out of Kigo Prison after he was granted bail on charges of murder, attempted murder and aiding and abetting terrorism. He was roughly arrested by plain clothed armed men and forced into a security van, infamously known as a drone.
Mr Ssegirinya was also rearrested in the same manner on September 27 as he left Kigo Prison after he was granted bail.
His re-arrest came hours after President Museveni slammed courts of law for granting bail to murder suspects and vowed to fight it politically and legally.
In a terse address at the Benedicto Kiwanuka Memorial Lecture at High Court building in Kampala where soldiers dragged out and later killed the former Chief Justice 49 years ago, President Museveni also demanded that convicted murderers should automatically suffer death by hanging.
“Really! Somebody has killed a person and you see him walking around, that is a provocation I am telling you. It’s a provocation, we can’t accept it," Mr Museveni said.
The duo is accused of having a hand in the recent spate of killings in Greater Masaka sub region that left close to 30 people dead. They were initially charged with six counts, including murder, attempted murder and aiding and abetting terrorism.
The new case now brings to seven, the total number of charges against the MPs and their co-accused.