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High court suspends terrorism trial against Ssegirinya, Ssewanyana

Lawyer Samuel Muyizzi Mulindwa (L) speaking to MP Allan Ssewanyana

Lawyer Samuel Muyizzi Mulindwa (L) speaking to MP Allan Ssewanyana

The High court has suspended terrorism trial proceedings against Kawempe North MP Muhammad Ssegirinya and his Makindye West counterpart Allan Ssewanyana.

The MPs are accused of terrorism, murder, and attempted murder in connection with the wave of machete killings that occurred in the greater Masaka district two years ago, claiming over 20 lives and injuring numerous others. They are facing the charges alongside Jackson Kanyike, John Mugerwa, Bull Wamala, and Mike Sserwadda.

During a pretrial session presided over by lady judge Alice Komuhangi Khauka today Monday, the accused, represented by their lawyers Samuel Muyizzi Mulindwa, Chrysostom Katumba, Nicholas Ssenkumi, and George Turyamusiima, along with state attorney Richard Birivumbuka, appeared before the court. However, Ssegirinya was notably absent.

Mulindwa presented a letter to the court dated January 30, 2024, addressed to the clerk to parliament from the Aga Khan Hospital in Kenya, indicating Ssegirinya's critical illness. According to the letter, signed by Dr Abel Akanyijuka on behalf of Dr Adil Salyani, Ssegirinya has been under their care since December 23, 2023.

Despite initial signs of improvement, his condition has deteriorated, requiring ongoing hospital care.  

"Hon Muhammad Ssegirinya still requires ongoing hospital care. Therefore, he will remain admitted until he is deemed fit for discharge at which point he will continue to receive the necessary care in a home setting," reads the letter.  

The document further states that Ssegirinya's anticipated discharge date is at least 30 days from the date of writing. Muyizzi elaborated that Ssegirinya was scheduled to return to the University Medical Center in Amsterdam, Netherlands, where a monitoring device had been implanted in his body to assess his condition. 

However, due to his worsening condition, he was rushed to St. Francis Nsambya hospital and subsequently recommended for treatment abroad. Muyizzi explained the need for an air ambulance due to Ssegirinya's frailty, noting that it was not covered in the budget allocated by parliament.

As an interim measure, an air ambulance transported him to the nearby Aga Khan Hospital, deemed more affordable than the Netherlands.

Medical records presented to the court indicate Ssegirinya's diagnosis and treatment for hepatic cholangiopathy and cryptococcal meningitis, conditions arising from lung-to-brain infection spread. The court also heard that state minister for Health Margaret Muhanga Mugisha had sought permission from the clerk to parliament on December 12, 2023, for Ssegirinya's medical travel and foreign currency purchase authorization, estimating a cost of $10,000.

Additionally, the lawyers raised concerns about their client Mike Serwadda's alleged torture while in state custody. Serwadda maintained that he was coerced into falsely incriminating the legislators, denying any acquaintance with them. Serwadda informed the court of his lawyer Geoffrey Turyamusiima's failure to file an application challenging the trial's continuation on torture grounds, prompting him to request a halt to the pretrial proceedings. 

In her ruling, justice Komuhangi acknowledged Ssegirinya's illness and the need to address the torture allegations raised by Serwadda. She directed Serwadda's lawyer to submit a formal application by March 18 with the prosecution responding and scheduled a hearing for March 26. Meanwhile, she suspended proceedings in the main case until resolution of Serwadda's application, allowing time for Ssegirinya's recovery.

Comments

+1 #1 Lakwena 2024-02-20 07:50
The power that be, who have committed all the crimes in the International and our Law Books, must be reminded that: "Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor", such as against the now suffering Ssegirinya of this country.

How in the world could a comic, amiable Hon Ssigirinya of this could have headed to Masaka, and personally went on a bloody rampage murdering over 20 innocent Ugandans using machete?

In other words, even the Devil cannot believe such a wild, false witness and capital criminal offense allegation and/or charges.

Gosh!, How evil can some people be and blame others for the their orchestrated and funded heinous crime?
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0 #2 Lakwena 2024-02-20 08:10
To date, many Ugandans are still at a loss, who and why e.g. the eccentric West Nile politician, Hon Abiriga was in cold blood, murdered in a barrage of bullets inside his little Yellow VW Beetle, a stone-throw to his house.?
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