The Uganda Prisons Service authorities on Monday failed to produce Members of Parliament -MPs – Muhammad Ssegirinya and Allan Ssewanyana to Court as ordered, for the duo to specifically endorse some documents as their lawyers had requested.
The two legislators are facing trial for several charges including murder, attempted murder, aiding and abetting terrorism stemming from their alleged involvement in killings that took place in the district of Lwengo and Masaka between March and June, 2021.
The MPs, representing different constituencies of Kampala City, pleaded not guilty to the charges. Unfortunately, their bail applications have been met with untold obstacles over time in what seem to be a political move – prolonging their stay on remand for over a year, now.
But as part of the process, their lawyers asked for access to the MPs through the courts to allow them to sign documents prepared for presentation before the Constitutional Court. The documents include a petition challenging a move by the court to conceal the identity of some of the state witnesses.
The MPs’ lawyers led by Samuel Muyizzi assert that they cannot access the two incarcerated legislators following a decision to stop visitation in prisons to avoid the spread of the Ebola Virus.
In line with the request, High Court judge Alice Komuhangi Khaukha asked the prison authorities to let the accused persons sign the said documents while at the Court premises.
However, today, in the absence of the presiding judge who is reported to be unwell, the duo virtually appeared before the court registrar Stella Beatrice Atingu. The registrar reported that they had not been brought before the court physically because the prison officials are trying to protect all inmates from getting Ebola.
Lawyer Muyizzi who represented the duo in court described the move as it’s unfortunate – vowing to continue with every effort in pursuit of justice. The court was adjourned to February 20, 2023 for their bail application.
Additional reporting by URN