We Did Not Negotiate Our Release from Jail- NUP MPs

L-R MPs Ssegiriya and Ssewanyana being brought to court. RP Pic

Two National Unity Platform -NUP legislators, Allan Ssewanyana, of Makindye West constituency, and Muhammad Ssegirinya, of Kawempe North constituency, have dismissed claims that their release from prison was a negotiation between them and the government.

Ssewanyana and Ssegirinya were arrested in September 2021 on accusations of having had a hand in the machete attacks in greater Masaka that left close to 30 people killed and scores injured.

The two Members of Parliament -MP were charged in Masaka court and later remanded at Kigo Prison before they were transferred to Kitalya Prison. However, for the 17 months, Ssewanyana and Ssegirinya were in prison, they often reported being tortured and having a series of medical illnesses.

But the decision by the state prosecutor to drop his longstanding objection against the legislators’ release on court bail left many wondering whether there were behind-door negotiations.

In response to the rumours that have dominated their release talk, Ssewanyana and Ssegirinya, on Wednesday addressed the media at NUP party headquarters in Kamwokya where they denied orchestrating any negotiations with the government.

Ssewanyana and Ssegirinya swore that their release was a constitutional right since they had spent a lot of time in jail yet the state had not presented evidence incriminating them. A number of people including justice and constitution affairs minister, Nobert Mao and Kimaanya-Kabonera constituency MP Dr Abed Bwanika have claimed to have been behind efforts that led to the release of the two legislators.

NUP President, Robert Ssentamu Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine, denied any clandestine dealings with the government in order to release the MPs. In fact, Bobi Wine vowed to deal with anyone who might have covertly hatched a deal with the government to have the MPs released.

But the legislators’ stance on any negotiations with the government for their freedom perhaps will settle the talk. However, Ssegirinya and Ssewanyana’s address to the media was not attended by any of NUP’s bigwigs like Bobi Wine, Leader of Opposition in Parliament Mathias Mpuuga, Secretary General David Lewis Rubongoya, and Party Spokesperson Joel Ssenyonyi. This has left many wondering what could have made the top NUP officials shun the MPs’ media address. Nevertheless, Ssenyonyi told the media that the MPs requested to have a question and answer session with journalists and it did not need their presence.

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