For some reason, Monday despite looking like a day of freedom for comical Kawempe North Member of Parliament Muhammad Ssegirinya, turned out exactly according to a silent script.
Ssegirinya, fresh from release (on bail) by Kigo Prison following a court order to have him set free ASAP, well aware of the likelihood that he could be snatched from his freedom walk, dashed to a waiting car that was occupied by his lawyer and fellow legislator Shamim Malende (Kampala Woman).
Indeed, Ssegirinya had not even reached the car, when a pick-up truck and a drone van headed towards his direction. He tucked himself in the back seat and a mad dash of cars ensued.
Malende, driving a Toyota Harrier kawundo sped off, while the pick-up track gave her a chase, with the drone van distant, only waiting for its occupant, who was the major reason the chase was happening.
A few meters before joining the tarmac onto the expressway, Malende was cornered and cut off, she stopped her car and the armed officers fished out their target.
Police later stated that Ssegirinya was being detained at Special Investigations Unit (SIU) in Kireka on fresh charges of treason and inciting violence.’
We want to inform the public that Hon Ssegirinya Muhammad has also been rearrested on fresh charges of treason and incitement to violence by the Joint Security Task team of investigators. He has been transferred to SIU for further statement recording and action,” Police spokesperson Fred Enanga stated.
Three weeks ago, Ssegirinya together with Makindye East MP Allan Ssewanyana were arrested for allegedly masterminding Masaka murders that left at least 30 people dead.
The two were slapped with charges of murder, attempted murder, and abetting terrorism which apparently happened on 23rd August at Ssetaala Village in Ssenyange Kabonera, Masaka City. They were consequently remanded for six months.
Ssegirinya, a political wild card?
On the day they were summoned, Ssegirinya cluelessly pointed out that he could be a victim of mistaken identity, and that is why he made sure to show up in Masaka where he was asked to go record a statement.
His colleague (Ssewanyana) on the other hand was quick to conjecture. He indicated that he knew all this was a political card.
Ssegirinya would later subtly hint at the reasons behind his predicament.
“I do not know why. Ever since I won the election as MP, I have been getting a lot of problems. When I was a councilor, I was a free man. I know my political opponents are part and partial of this whole thing,” Ssegirinya said.
Ssegirinya’s “suffering” imposed by the state may be seen differently, besides those charges dangling in his face and the constant reminder from president Museveni to the judiciary not to grant bail to murder suspects.
In an informal talk, Moses Bigirwa a NUP stalwart called Ssegirinya’s events a “political deception” by President Museveni.
“Ssegirinya cannot do an activity where he will not turn out famous before cameras. He cannot have funded anything, so is Ssewanyana, but these are being used by President Museveni to give them a moment of fame which will, in turn, cause political riot within the NUP,” Bigirwa said.
“Museveni should not be underrated; he is a very good political strategist. He is very tolerant and patient, which traits he has used to his advantage. He is now investing in future politics by using Ssegirinya as his card. In the end, we shall have two candidates in NUP, one created by the state and that is Ssegirinya.”
To his credit, Ssegirinya has quite a following, and should he stand against Bobi Wine in the future, it could create a breakaway just like it did with the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC).
Not the first time Ssegirinya is being attached to the state
Ssegirinya has recently been attached to the state, by fellow political players.
Early this month, Suleiman Kidandala, who lost to Ssegirinya both in court and at the constituency level lamented that his political nemesis had state backing.
Kidandala claimed that he was under pressure from “certain people” in government to back off Ssegirinya.
“Looking at the way the Electoral Commission is acting, looking at how other actors are acting, I’m not surprised. With time, we shall uncover the so many forces behind this. You don’t know how much pressure I’m under. People in government calling you and telling you, please pull out this (case), we have an interest. Everyone is interested in this matter; security organs are interested in this matter,” Kidandala said.
While different players have had different opinions on Ssegirinya’s fortunes and misfortunes, and while Nile Post condemns the actions against Ssegirinya’s freedoms, we would like to borrow the words from the Leader of Opposition in Parliament Mathias Mpuuga who on the initial event of Ssegirinya’s arrest said;
“It has just begun, the long and short, we cannot tell.”