Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah has spoken out on calls by MPs to save Kawempe North legislator Muhammad Ssegirinya and Makindye West’s Allan Ssewanyana from prison.
On September 07, Masaka Chief Magistrate’s Court remanded NUP MPs Ssegirinya and Ssewanyana to Kitalya Prison until September 15.
Ssewanyana and Ssegirinya face four counts, three of murder and one of attempted murder, over their alleged involvement in a spate of killings that have claimed nearly 30 lives in Greater Masaka Area in recent months.
On September 06, the MPs appeared before Masaka Police for questioning.
During a court session presided over by Chief Magistrate Charles Yeteise, prosecution led by Richard Birivumbuka claimed that Ssegirinya and Ssewanyana held meetings at Happy Boys, Kalenda, and Kayanja Rest House in Kampala to plan Masaka killings.
Prosecution further alleged that on August 23, 2021, while at Ssetala Village in Kimanya Kabonera Division, the two MPs participated in the murder of Sulaiman Kakooza, Michael Kiza Nswa, and Tadeo Kiyimba, and the attempted murder of Robert Ssebyato.
During September 08 plenary, Kira Municipality MP and FDC spokesperson Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda asked if Speaker Oulanyah could do anything to save the NUP legislators.
“This is a matter that touches on our privilege and protection as Members of Parliament. We need to know whether this institution is taking any steps to offer them any help that they may need (sic),” submitted Ssemujju Nganda.
In response, Oulanyah said the protection of MPs was not absolute and that the only thing he can guarantee was that he would visit Ssegirinya and Ssewanyana in prison.
“Charges have been preferred and they have been remanded; Parliamentary Privileges have limitations. When you become an MP, you cannot engage in any act [because] the privilege is confined to free speech in the House,” responded Oulanyah.
“When a Member of this House has been found in conflict with the law, the law must take its course. Once these processes have started, we cannot interfere; let’s respect the court process for now. I am personally going to see them wherever they are.”