Masaka High Court grant bail to MPs, Ssegirinya & Ssewanyana

By Our Reporter.

MASAKA-The Masaka High Court has granted bail to Hon. Muhammad Ssegirinya (Kawempe North MP) and Hon. Allan Ssewanyana (Makindye East MP) after spending 16 months in jail.

The duo which has been on remand since September 2021, is accused of being behind the wave of killings by machete-wielding gangs in the Greater Masaka area.

The mood was tense as the courtroom was filled to the brim by fellow legislators, applicants’ relatives and well-wishers.

The MPs were given a cash bail of Shs20m each while their sureties were bonded at Shs 50m non-cash.

The sureties include; Mr Joseph Ssewungu Gonzaga (Kalungu West MP) and Mr Moses Kasibante (former Rubaga North MP) who stood for Mr Ssewanyana while Masaka Mayor Ms Florence Namayanja (Masaka City Mayor) and Mr Bagonza Thomas (Kawempe Division Councilor) stood for Mr Ssegirinya.

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This was after the state withdrew affidavits blocking the legislators’ bail application and instead set terms for the bail.

Appearing before Justice Lawrence Tweyanze, the Masaka resident state attorney Mr Richard Birivumbuka, told the court that the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) had issued a certificate of no objection to that effect.

He said that the state also was pleased to retract the affidavits sworn by Thomas Jatiko, Jenifer Amumpaire and detective SP Innocent Mubangizi that had been tendered in court on January 23, 2023.

Among the conditions the state put for the duo to be granted bail was a deposit of a substantial amount of money, and their passports such that they could only leave the country on permission. They were also warned against interfering with the state witnesses among other terms.

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The defense lawyers led by Counsel Caleb Alaka welcomed the decision by the state to withdraw the affidavits against the bail application.

Alaka asked the court to grant the applicants bail on a reasonable amount of money since they had been under detention long enough.

He also said that the applicant’s passports had been deposited in the registrar’s office at the international crimes division, and he had no issues with the court retaining them.

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