The charge sheet against Makindye West MP Allan Ssewanyana and his Kawempe North colleague, Muhammad Ssegirinya, has been modified by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
Last Monday, the two opposition MPs were detained on three counts of murder and attempted murder in connection with the knife murders in Ssetaala and Ssenya villages in Masaka city’s Kimanya-Kabonera district on August 23, 2021.
The DPP accused the MPs with new terrorism offences on Wednesday afternoon. By video link, Masaka Grade One Magistrate Grace Wakooli read the charges against the defendants who are being held at Kigo prisons in Wakiso region.
Mike Sserwadda, Jude Mawanda, Buro Wamala, and John Mugerwa, who were previously remanded in Kitalya prison on murder accusations, were also accused.
According to the charge sheet submitted by Masaka Resident State Attorney Richard Birivumbuka, the two legislators and their collaborators directly engaged in terror operations and facilitated intermittent acts of terror between January and August this year.
The suspects indiscriminately engaged in murder and attempted murder of persons while at various locations in Uganda with the goal to terrorize the public for political, religious, social, or economic benefit, according to the court.
Wakooli refused to let the accused enter pleas because her court lacks the authority to prosecute capital cases. Birivumbuka told the court that the investigation into the case is still ongoing in order to obtain the necessary evidence in order to commit the suspect to the High Court for prosecution.
The parliamentarians protested their hurried arrest and ongoing imprisonment without the necessary proof against them through their lawyer, Shamim Malende. Malende asked the court to order the state to hurry up its investigation into the case in order to help the prompt prosecution of the suspects, who she claims are suffering from major health problems that can’t be successfully managed in prison.
The State Attorney responded that they are still within the six-month time frame for conducting investigations into serious criminal offenses, and that the investigations are progressing and would be completed soon.
As a result, Wakooli detained the accused until September 29th, when they will appear in court for further proceedings. The new allegations against the MPs come five days before their bail plea is set to be heard in Masaka High Court by Justice Victoria Nakintu Katamba.