Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Members of Parliament Allan Ssewanyana and Muhammad Ssegirinya have asked court to reign over security agencies and stop the violation of their rights.
The MPs were separately presented before the Masaka Grade One Magistrate Grace Wakooli and Chief Magistrate Charles Yeitese, for further mention of murder and terrorism charges, and the amendments in their earlier charge sheet respectively.
They however told the court that their fundamental rights have been abused while in custody, and that they have suffered physical torture as military operatives rearrested them shortly after they were released on bail from Kigo prison.
While Ssegirinya showed blisters in his palms which he claimed were sustained in a scuffle that ensued during his rearrest, Ssewanyana walked with difficulty, a condition he also alleges was caused by the inhumane treatment subjected to him by security operatives. Ssewanyana said that he had been denied specialized treatment for hypertension and hemophilia which he said had progressed while in detention.
He asked the court to order the prison authorities to provide them with specialized medical attention and most preferably be allowed to access private medical specialists to appropriately attend to their conditions before they worsen.
In her submission before the Chief Magistrate, lawyer Shamim Malende indicated that the MPs were brutally rearrested by military personnel who manhandled them and accordingly inflicted physical injuries on them. She asked the court to prevail over the security agencies to stop disrespecting legal processes as well as refraining from any human rights violation while executing their duties.
The prosecution led by Richard Birivumbuka, the Masaka Resident Chief State Attorney in an amended charge sheet, presented fresh charges of murder against the two MPs, bringing the total number of offences against them to seven. They are jointly charged alongside seven other suspects who are also on remand in Kigo and Kitalya prisons.
According to Birivumbuka, the duo participated in the murder of Joseph Bwanika, a resident of Kankamba village, Kisekka sub-county in Lwengo district, after they allegedly raided the deceased’s home on the night of August 2, 2021.
But the State Attorney told the court that the accused persons have not officially notified them about any human rights violations against them and that he was also not informed of the MPs rearrests. The Masaka Chief Magistrate Charles Yeitese remanded the duo to Kigo prison on the fourth count of murder up to October 15. He however instructed the prison authorities to ensure that the MPs access the required medical attention.