The National Unity Platform (NUP) has asked that the two imprisoned party members of parliament, Muhammad Ssegirinya and Allan Ssewanyana, be investigated and tried as soon as possible.
The Kawempe North Member of Parliament Muhammed Ssegirinya and the Makindye West legislator Allan Ssewanyana were charged with murder and sent to Kitalya prison on Tuesday by the Masaka Chief Magistrate’s Court.
The two were accused of being involved in the recent series of homicides in the Masaka sub-region, which resulted in the deaths of around 30 individuals. They face four charges: three counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.
Mathias Mpuuga, the leader of the opposition in Parliament, told journalists at the National Unity Platform party headquarters in Kamwokya that when security forces failed to find true murderers, the occurrences were twisted to be political.
Mpuuga argues that in the same situation, opposition members are usually accused of being involved in such organized criminal activities, even when there is no evidence, in order to ruin their public image.
“Our party is neither aggressive or murderous, but security has used similar tactics in the past to discredit opposition members,” Mpuga added. “During the first bijambiya outbreak in Masaka during Gen Kayihura’s reign, not a single gang or suspect was convicted. “How did that happen?”
“The country still recalls those suspects and their subsequent confessions that they were taught by security operatives,” he continued. We want to remind everyone that we’re still the same country, ruled by the same people. And we’re keeping a close eye on their recent moves.”
President Museveni indicated last month, while speaking about the Masaka killings, that the killings were orchestrated by people in positions of power in the country. He stated that there was sufficient evidence linking the murder to political figures.
Mpuuga, on the other hand, has stated that the NUP has taken no criminal proceedings against those who voted for them in large numbers in previous elections, and that they have no plans to engage in violence because they have chosen the route of civility.
He also urged the trial of NUP members who are still being held in jail without being brought before a court of law.
Dr. Rena Zedriga, vice president of the National Unity Platform-NUP Northern Uganda, has criticised security officials’ repeated arrests of people before gathering evidence against them. She believes that all investigations must be completed before any arrests are made.
“Before arresting people and remanding them to Kitalya, investigations must be concluded. If they start to say they’re still gathering evidence, we call on the administration to hurry up the process of bringing justice to our members of parliament this time.”
Shamim Malende, a Kampala women Member of Parliament, said they are still fighting for their bail petitions.