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Opposition MPs vow to boycott plenary until colleagues are released

The LOP Mathias Mpuuga led Opposition MPs out of plenary yesterday after the state failed to explain the abduction of MPs Muhammad Ssegirinya and Allan Ssewanyana.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Opposition legislators in parliament have vowed to shun plenary until the Kawempe North Member of parliament, Muhammad Ssegirinya and his Makindye West counterpart, Allan Ssewanyana are released.

The joint security task force re-arrested Ssegirinya on Monday this week shortly after his release from Kigo prison following their remand on September 8th, 2021 on six counts of murder, attempted murder, aiding and abetting terrorism. On the other hand, the joint security task force re-arrested Ssewanyana on September 24th, 2021.

Police Spokesperson Fred Enanga later issued a statement indicating that both legislators had been re-arrested on fresh charges of treason and incitement to violence and were being held at the Special Investigations Division Kireka for statement recording and action.

On Tuesday, opposition legislators led by the Leader of Opposition (LOP), Mathias Mpuuga took to the floor to criticize the re-arrest of the MPs immediately after their release from prison and demanded an explanation from the government.

As a result, the Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah tasked the government to present a statement explaining the re-arrest of the two legislators. He also wondered why the government had failed to communicate to his office about the re-arrest of the legislators.

In her statement, the Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja confirmed the re-arrest of the legislators, saying they were still under interrogations. She also revealed that the government would inform the speaker’s chambers about the arrest of the legislators. Dissatisfied with the prime minister’s explanation, opposition legislators stormed out of the chambers.

Now, the opposition legislators say that they will not entertain any parliamentary business until the two are released.  The Opposition Chief Whip, John Baptist Nambeshe says that they were prompted to take the decision because of the continued incarceration of MPs in non-gazzetted areas.

Although most of the opposition members from the National Unity Platform (NUP), Democratic Party (DP) and Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) attended the presser, there were no legislators from the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC).

The MPs also condemned the proposal fronted by the President to scrap bail for suspects on capital offences. Asuman Basalirwa, the Bugiri Municipality M, said that as the opposition, they are opposed to all schemes to remove bail from the law books.

The Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah and his Deputy, Anita Among and the Minister of State for Internal Affairs, David Muhoozi are meeting ahead of the plenary.

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