Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Government and the Parliament leadership have agreed to hold a joint visit and meeting regarding the health of Kawempe North MP, Muhammad Ssegirinya who is currently detained at Luzira prison.
The decision to hold a joint meeting with the MP’s personal doctor followed a procedural matter raised by the Leader of Opposition, Mathias Mpuuga in regard to MP Ssegirinya and his counterpart Allan Ssewanyana, the Makindye West MP who is detained at Kigo prison.
“Whereas I reported about the sickness of the duo, today, I am here to report that in particular, honorable Ssegirinya is not sick but ill. This is not to ask parliament to exonerate them but because at some stage parliament offered to make an intervention, specifically to indulge the State in offering a way to have these members get proper medical attention,” said Mpuuga in part.
He said that when he visited MP Ssegirinya on Thursday last week, he was clearly in pain and that the MP was later on Saturday evacuated to Mulago National Referral hospital. However, Mpuuga said that Ssegirinya’s family was not informed formally until Monday 1st November, when someone tiptoed and informed his family about the dire state of his health.
The Leader of Opposition appealed to parliament to make a humanitarian intervention to have the MP access proper treatment after which he can be prosecuted.
Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja said that she had noted the concern and suggested a joint visit to the ill MP from which a decision would be taken. Deputy Speaker Anita Among also confirmed the intention of intervention.
MP Muhammad Ssegirinya and his Makindye West counterpart, Allan Ssewanyana are facing several charges including murder, attempted murder, aiding and abetting terrorism. They were last week on Monday denied bail by Masaka High Court Judge Lawrence Tweyanze, saying that their release would jeopardize investigations since they are currently under trial.
Tweyanze said that the MPs are public figures and have capacity to influence and interfere with investigations, including absconding from bail. He also said that their lawyers led by Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago failed to prove that the MPs were ill and that the first charges where the two legislators had been granted bail for were different from the case before him.
MPs Ssegirinya and Ssewanyana are accused of masterminding the recent machete killings in Masaka sub-region. Masaka High Court recently granted them bail but they were re-arrested, charged afresh and remanded to Kigo prison.
Murder is a capital offence and it attracts a maximum punishment of death by hanging when convicted, according to the Penal Code Act.
Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition Mpuuga demanded for a report from government regarding the disappearance of citizens whose names he tabled before parliament earlier. He said that the Security Minister and the Internal Affairs Minister need to update the country about these citizens that have disappeared for more than a year now.
Deputy Speaker Among said that she had written to the Ministers to attend a meeting regarding the matter and provide responses.