The Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah has suspended the House until Internal Affairs Minister, Kahinda Otafiire comes with an explanation over the re-arrest of the two MPs.
After the attorney general failed to convince the members why the two MPs were re-arrested, Opposition MPs led by the Leader of Opposition, Mathias Mpunga led the Opposition side out of the Chamber.
Mr. Mpunga who raised the issue as an urgent matter said they cannot remain seated in the house as if the business is normal while their two colleagues are being denied beyond 48 hours as it will show that they are okay with what has transpired and he has no option but to match out of the session.
He was followed by his colleagues of the National Unity Platform in protest of the immediate release of the two arrested MPs namely donned in their white T-shirts with pictures of Makindye West, Allan Ssewanyana and Kamwepe North, Muhammad Segirinya forcing the Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah to suspended the House to Wednesday, 29.
In solidarity, Lwemiyaga County MP, Theodore Ssekikubo, and Kira Municipality MP, Ibrahim Nganda Ssemujju said this is not the first time this act is being manifested because some MPs have been re-arrested and they can’t allow being part of such acts that demean the dignity of legislators.
Oulanyah said before adjourning the sitting that passed of the right of any member of this house to signify decent way. He added that he is not in disagreement with the act of walking out. The option would be to stay and make the situation difficult and applauded the LOP for good leadership.
He added that he needs to know the reason they were re-arrested, where they are being kept, and why because he does not know the reason.
The Attorney General, Kiryowa Kiwanuka stunned the House when he said the two MPs will be presented in court and they can go back as many times as the offenses they commit.
“The two MPs will be presented in court. They can go back as many times as the offenses they commit,” added Kiryowa.
The Prime Minister, Robbinah Nabbanja acknowledged that it’s true that the two MPs were re-arrested. She said Ssewanyana recorded a statement in Kireka while Muhammad Segirinya will also be interrogated today in the presence of his lawyers.
She also requested the speaker to give them more time until tomorrow to come with a statement on the matter.
In an earlier attempt, the Speaker had suspended the House for 15 minutes to allow the Government Chief Whip Thomas Tayebwa get the Minister to come and offer an explanation on the re-arrest of the two MPs. “Unless we get answers to the questions I have asked, we shall not proceed with this sitting”.
On seeing that the Minister was not in the House, Minister of State for Industry, Hon. David Bahati said the House should grant the executive some time to offer an explanation on the re-arrest of the two MPs. “I will inform the Minister of Internal Affairs to provide the report tomorrow”.
Ssegirinya was jointly arrested together with Makindye West MP Ssewanyana on September 7th, 2021, and taken to Masaka Magistrates Court on charges of murder and terrorism arising from the recent killings of people using machetes in Masaka. They were remanded and sent to Kigo Government Prison.
But since the court lacked jurisdiction to try the offenses, they had to seek bail before the High Court which was granted by Lady Justice Victoria Nakintu Katamba on September 20th, 2021 on the presumption that they are still innocent unless proven to be guilty.
As part of the conditions, however, the Judge directed the legislators to pay a 20 million Shillings’ cash bail and ordered their sureties to execute a bond form of 100 million Shillings not cash.
They were also instructed to surrender their passports to the International Crimes Division of the High Court where they should be reporting twice every month and barred from participating in any rhetoric that may cause public excitement.
Ssewanyana was also re-arrested outside the prison on Thursday at 7:30 pm by unknown gunmen and driven to an unknown destination.
Erias Lukwago, Ssewanyana’s lawyer said that Ssewanyana’s kidnap renders the court directive that he should be released on bail insignificant.