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MP Ssekikubo maintains resolve to defy quarantine

MP Ssekikubo leaving court after being granted bail for the second time this week. Twitter photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT  | The Lwemiyaga county Member of Parliament, Theodore Ssekikubo vowed to defy the quarantine restrictions in Sembabule district, minutes after being granted bail for the second time this week.

Ssekikubo appeared this morning before the Masaka Chief Magistrate, Deogratius Ssejjemba on charges of inciting violence leading to the destruction and damage of properties, obstruction of police officers on duty, illegal possession of firearm and threatening violence.

The MP was re-arrested on Wednesday afternoon a day after he was granted bail by the same court. He was represented by Medard Sseggona and Wilfred Nuwagaba who managed to secure him none cash bail of Shillings 10 million.

His sureties including Patrick Ssamba Oshabe, the Kasanda North MP, Mathias Mpuuga, Masaka Municipality MP, Anifa Kawooya, Sembabule Woman MP and Edrisa Kabanda, the Lwemiyaga sub county Buganda kingdom representative also executed non cash bond of Shillings 15 million each.

Ssekikubo’s trouble started when he allegedly mobilized herdsmen and cattle traders in Lwemiyaga County on January 10th, 2020 to forcefully open the cattle market in defiance of livestock movement restrictions in the area. Prior to his arrest, Ssekikubo and his supporters were involved in a scuffle with police officers who insisted on enforcing the quarantine.

The legislator claims police are being used to enforce a false quarantine in the area aimed at enriching a clique of people connected to bigwigs in government who are allegedly profiteering from the closure of livestock markets such that they can force local farmers to sell their livestock at giveaway prices.

Ssekikubo vows to continue defying what he described as an unjustifiable quarantine, indicating that he will lead farmers to take their livestock to the market on Friday.  He claims the Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Husbandry Ministry has never formerly declared quarantine in Lwemiyaga County and that to date the area hasn’t registered a single case of Foot and Mouth Disease-FMD.

Molly Rwabushija, the Ntuusi and Lwemiyaga Sub counties LC V female Councilor protests what describes as selective enforcement of the quarantine, which she says has hit farmers hard in the area.

Rwabushija also says that despite the disputed cattle movement restrictions in the area, big shots in government such as the former Animal Husbandry State Minister (now State for Works), Joy Kafura Kabatsi, are freely trading in milk and other livestock products.

She has cried out to President Yoweri Museveni to intervene in the prevalent situation.

Mathias Lubowa, a cattle dealer and farmer in Ntuusi Sub county told URN that they are committed to resist police intimidation to open their livestock markets.

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