Ssegirinya, Ssewanyana given bail – Daily Monitor
After spending two weeks on remand, two Opposition Members of Parliament who are accused of having a hand in the recent spate of killings in the Greater Masaka Sub-region have been granted bail pending the hearing of their cases.
However, despite getting bail, the duo, Allan Ssewanyana (Makindye West) and Muhammad Ssegirinya (Kawempe North), did not leave prison yesterday after they were unable to pay Shs40m bail fees since it was beyond banking time.
Mr Erias Lukwago, their lead lawyer, said they would be able to find the money and bank it today before they can secure the legislators’ release from Kigo Prison where they have been on remand.
“….this court is satisfied that the applicants (MPs) will return to attend trial and I find the sureties presented substantial. I accordingly allow the application,” ruled presiding judge Victoria Nakintu Katamba in a zoom court session.
The six sureties were also each bonded Shs100m not cash.
The sureties included Kira Municipality MP Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, Veronica Nanyondo (Woman MP Bukomansimbi District), and Francis Katabaazi (Kalungu East).
Others are Francis Zaake (Mityana Municipality), Christine Nandagire Ndiwalana (Bukomansimbi North), and Mr Robert Walugembe, a brother of Mr Ssegirinya.
The lawmakers and their four co-accused are facing charges of terrorism, aiding and abetting terrorism, murder and attempted murder.
The other bail condition was for the MPs to deposit their passports with the registrar of the International Crimes Division of the High Court in Kampala and also report twice every month to the same court.
Court also warned the lawmakers not to engage in any actions that may cause unnecessary public excitement.
The presiding judge made three adjournments before making her final ruling.
Earlier, the prosecution led by Mr Richard Birivumbuka had opposed the release of the MPs, arguing that they would interfere with investigations.
The other reason was that given the busy schedule of the sureties who are equally MPs, they may not find time to remind the accused to attend court as and when required.
The legislators last week listed six grounds for their release on bail including grave illness that cannot be managed from the confines of prison.
Under the charge of terrorism, the MPs and their co-accused are said to have an intent of intimidating the public or a section of the public for political, religious or economic aim, indiscriminately without regard to the safety of others or property,. They are also accused of directly involving themselves in the murders or attempted murders in Masaka and Rakai.
They allegedly committed the offences between January and August.
Under the charge of aiding and abetting terrorism, the legislators are accused of financing Mike Sserwadda, Jude Muwonge, Wamala Bulo, and John Mugerwa, despite having a believe that the financial support would be used in acts of terrorism.
They are also accused of killing three people and attempting to murder another in the Greater Masaka Sub-region.
Once convicted of murder and terrorism charges, the MPs stand to be handed the maximum punishment of death by hanging.
The attacks in Greater Masaka left at least 26 residents dead.