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Privileges of MPs are limited – Oulanyah

Speaker Jacob Oulanyah.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah has said that there is nothing Parliament can do regarding the arrest of Kawempe North MP Muhammad Ssegirinya and Makindye West MP Allan Ssewanyana.

On Tuesday, the Masaka Chief Magistrate’s Court charged and remanded the two MPs to Kitalya prison. Ssegirinya and Ssewanyana are accused of having a role in the spate of killings by machete-wielding men in the greater Masaka region that has left about 30 people dead.

According to the police, the two MPs allegedly organized several meetings to plan the attacks.

Raising a matter of procedure on Wednesday in Parliament, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, the Kiira Municipality MP said the arrest of the MPs touches on the privileges and protection as MPs. He questioned if Parliament is taking any step to help the MPs.

However, Oulanyah said that the summons to the MPs were served through his office. He says that Parliament cannot intervene in the matter since the privileges and the protection of MPs are limited.

He says that the free speech and actions taken by MPs in Parliament are what MPs are protected from but not any suspected criminal activity.

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