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Ssewanyana, Ssegirinya Terrorism Trial Adjourned

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Ssegirinya Ssewanyana The New Light Paper

Due to the two legislators’ poor health, the pre-trial for terrorist allegations against MPs Allan Ssewanyana (Makindye West) and Muhammad Ssegirinya (Kawempe North) has been postponed till March 27.

The two lawmakers were granted financial bail of Shs 20 million each last month on February 13 by Masaka High Court resident judge Lawrence Tweyanze after spending more than a year in jail and making repeated unsuccessful attempts to obtain bail.

The suspects are accused of numerous offenses, including terrorism, attempted murder, and murder. The two MPs and their co-accused allegedly took part in the Greater Masaka machete killings with the intention of intimidating the populace for political, religious, social, or commercial benefit.

But, in addition to being accused of assisting terrorism, the two MPs who were detained on September 7, 2021, are also accused of organizing terrorism between January and August 2021 in the wider Masaka subregion.

Yet, they were unable to enter the High Court’s Kololo grounds to answer to allegations of terrorism. Ssewanyana was driven to court this morning, Monday, in a white Alphard car. According to Samuel Muyizzi Mulindwa, his attorney, they encouraged the lawmaker to skip the court hearing because he was ill.

Ssewanyana remained reclining in the car as the court hearing went on with a cannula on his arm. Ssewanyana was prepared to enter the courtroom on a stretcher, according to Muyizzi, but he was persuaded to change his mind since “having suspects stretched to court is not the practice of the court” and even the defense team would be unable to interact with the court in this way.

He also informed the court that Ssewanyana planned to come before the court’s registrar to request the release of his passport so he could receive additional medical care in Nairobi, Kenya. To grant his client a month to get the necessary care, Muyizzi asked the court. The co-accused John Mugera’s attorney, Robert Muhereza, didn’t raise any objections to the adjournment other than for the time period.

He requested that only three weeks be granted, claiming that a month would be excessive given that his client was still behind bars. The prosecution, which is being led by Richard Birivumbuka, the chief state attorney for the Masaka region, did not object to the adjournment, claiming that they do not want to be perceived as the accusers given how important the subject of one’s health is.

Yet he asserted that a month is excessive in light of the fact that other accused are still being held on remand. He also asked for three weeks, like Muhereza. Jackson Kanyike, Bull Wamala, Mike Sserwandda, and Jude Muwonge are the other suspects who are still being held without bond. Their attorneys, Geoffrey Turyamusiima and Anthony Wameli, are still in the Bugisu sub-region, where Wameli’s partner was laid to rest over the weekend.

Also, two guys assisted Ssegirinya as she entered the courtroom. Hence, the judge, Alice Komuhangi, set a new date for the case’s return for pretrial conferences: March 27. The remaining five suspects were further remanded, with the exception of the two MPs who are free on bail.

During the court session, Muyizzi spoke with the media and stated that his clients are not psychologically and physically prepared to begin pre-trial. In order for the attorneys for the other defendants to understand the situation and recognize the validity of the adjournment request, he noted, they should have allowed Segiringa to attend court. He added that they will now move through with the process of requesting the release of Sewanyana’s passport so that he could receive treatment in Nairobi.

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