Government has denied claims that it is persecuting opposition MPs Muhammad Ssegirinya and Allan Ssewanyana of Kawempe North and Makindye West respectively by incarcerating them over the recent spate of murders in Masaka.
Lawyer Male Mabirizi recently petitioned the Constitutional Court challenging the new murder charges against oppositions MPs Allan Ssewanyana and Muhammad Ssegirinya.
The state slapped fresh murder charges against the two opposition legislators in relation to the recent spate of murders in Masaka region after being accused of masterminding the murder of Joseph Bwanika at Kisekka B village in Lwengo district.
In his petition to the Constitutional Court, Mabirizi said the actions by the state have made it difficult for the two legislators to be effectively represented by a lawyer of their choice at their own expense given the repetitive court sessions and can only be equated to political persecution of the two opposition Members of Parliament.
However, in his response to the petition, the Attorney General denied the claims by Mabirizi.
In a response filed by Joseph Kyomuhendo, a Chief State Attorney in the office of the Attorney General, says the petition by Mabirizi has no merit since it raises no questions to be interpreted by the Constitutional Court and should consequently be dismissed.
The Attorney General says that on September 7, 2021, the DPP sanctioned charges against the two MPs and that later, the charge sheet was amended to add two counts of terrorism and aiding and abetting terrorism
“The charging of the accused with the murder of Joseph Bwanika formed a different transaction from the murder charges of Francis Mugerwa Kizza, Sulaiman Kakooza, and Tadeo Kayima on August, 23, 2021 and the attempted murder of Ronald Ssebyoto,” Kyomuhendo said in the response.
According to the Attorney General, everything done by the DPP in relation to the provisions of the constitution.
“The actions of the DPP and Chief Magistrate of Masaka are constitutional and do not deprive the accused persons of their personal liberty, prevent the accused persons from seeking legal representation, making bail applications, doesn’t amount to political persecution and is demonstrably justifiable in a free and democratic society and is not an infringement on the Constitution as alleged,” the Attorney General said.
In his petition, Mabirizi asked the Constitutional Court to issue a temporary injunction restraining the DPP from any further proceedings in regards the September 29,2021 case file of the murder of Joseph Bwanika against the two legislators.
He also wants the Constitutional Court to restrain the Masaka Chief Magistrates Court and any other magistrates or High Court from conducting any other proceeding in regards the new cases file.