MPs Ssegirinya, Ssewanyana granted bail
Two Members of Parliament, Mr Muhammad Ssegirinya (Kawempe North) and Allan Ssewanyana (Makindye East) were Monday granted bail by Masaka High Court after spending 16 months in jail.
The duo which has been on remand since September 2021, is accused of being behind the wave of killings by machete-wielding gangs in the Greater Masaka area.
The mood was tense as the courtroom was filled to the brim by fellow legislators, applicants’ relatives and well-wishers.
The MPs were given a cash bail of Shs20m each while their sureties were bonded at Shs 50m non-cash.
The sureties include; Mr Joseph Ssewungu Gonzaga (Kalungu West MP) and Mr Moses Kasibante (former Rubaga North MP) who stood for Mr Ssewanyana while Masaka Mayor Ms Florence Namayanja (Masaka City Mayor) and Mr Bagonza Thomas (Kawempe Division Councilor) stood for Mr Ssegirinya.
This was after the state withdrew affidavits blocking the legislators’ bail application and instead set terms for the bail.
While appearing before Justice Lawrence Tweyanze, the Masaka resident state attorney Mr Richard Birivumbuka, told the court that the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) had issued a certificate of no objection to that effect.
He said that the state also was pleased to retract the affidavits sworn by Thomas Jatiko, Jenifer Amumpaire and detective SP Innocent Mubangizi that had been tendered in court on January 23, 2023.
“The DPP directed not to object to this application and issued a certificate of no objection, and we pray that we submit to the terms of the bail application. With the leave of court, we pray to formally withdraw our affidavits in reply to bail application as well,” he stated.
Among the conditions the state put for the duo to be granted bail was a deposit of a substantial amount of money, and their passports such that they could only leave the country on permission. They were also warned against interfering with the state witnesses among other terms.
The defence lawyers led by Counsel Caleb Alaka welcomed the decision by the state to withdraw the affidavits against the bail application.
“We have no objection to the application to withdraw the affidavits and we preciously welcome it on behalf of our clients,” he said.
Mr Alaka asked the court to grant the applicants bail on a reasonable amount of money since they had been under detention long enough.
He also said that the applicant’s passports had been deposited in the registrar’s office at the international crimes division, and he had no issues with the court retaining them.