The Masaka High Court on Monday heard the bail applications filed by opposition NUP MPs Muhammad Ssegirinya MP for Kawempe North and Allan Ssewanyana MP for Makindye West.
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The two are charged with six counts including murder, attempted murder, terrorism and aiding terrorist in relation to the Masaka machete murders.
The High court judge did not object to the bail application filed by lawyers Erias Lukwago and Shamim Malende. The lawyers argued that the accused are responsible citizens who are even elected members of parliament with legislative duties to execute. The lawyers also raised the matter of their clients’ health which needs consistent monitoring that cannot be met by the standarda of the prisons. Ssegirinya and Ssewanyana appeared via a video link from Kitalya prison where they were detained.
The judge did not hesitate to offer bail but set tough conditions like UGX 100m non cash for the sureties who were also legislators like the Mityana MP Zaake Francis Butebi who stood in for Ssegirinya, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda of Kiira municipality who stood in for Allan Ssewanyana. The sureties were further ordered to pay UGX 20m in cash as one of the bail terms.
It is important to note that whenever a general election comes to an end, the NRM government sets a controversy and finds a way of involving opposition MPs. In the 2016 poll aftermath, the then Nakawa MP Michael Kabaziguruka of FDC faced treason charges and spent the beginning months of his tenure in Luzira prison. Months later, the outspoken Mukono municipality legislator Betty Nambooze Bakireke followed suit.