Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Legislators on the Human Rights Committee of parliament want the government to allow the detained Makindye West MP, Allan Sewanyana and his Kawempe North counterpart, Muhammad Ssegirinya to access medical attention.
The members led by Fox Odoi, the West Budama North MP visited the two legislators at Kigo prisons on Friday evening. The two legislators were arrested and detained on charges of murder, attempted murder and aiding and abetting terrorism stemming from their alleged role in the greater Masaka machete killings.
Although the two legislators successfully applied for bail, they were re-arrested by the joint security task force from the precincts of Kigo prison shortly after being released on bail. The re-arrest of the legislators triggered protests by the Opposition in Parliament led by Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Mathias Mpuuga.
He led his team to boycott plenary sittings until their colleagues are produced in the courts of law. However, following discussions with the speaker, the opposition legislators called off their boycott and returned to parliament.
Now, following the visit to Kigo prisons, the Human Rights Committee of parliament has decried the state under which their colleagues are being held. They want the government to jail the legislators in an appropriate medical facility where they can get adequate medical help. The committee vice-chairperson and Kagadi Woman MP Jenipher Mbabazi says that the two MPs are in pain especially Ssegirinya who is unwell.
Francis Mwijukye, the Buhweju County MP says that even with the pain the MPs are in, Kigo prison has only a health centre III yet the MPs want specialised treatment which they can’t access at the facility. He says Ssegirinya’s condition is particularly alarming.
Rose Obiga, the Terego District Woman MP says that the MPs are in a dire state, which needs to be considered.
Medard Lubega Ssegona, the Busiro County East MP who also doubles as the legal representative of the detained MPs, says that they are considering applying for fresh bail for the legislators. He explains that Ssegirinya has an underlying condition which needs urgent medical attention while Ssewanyana appears to have injured his leg.
Charity Bainababo, the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) representative in Parliament says there is need for further examination of the legislators.