STATEMENT ON THE CONTINUED INCARCERATION OF HON. ALLAN SSEWANYANA ALOYSIUS AND HON. SSEGIRINYA MUHAMMAD
Rt Hon Speaker and
Today marks exactly one year since our colleagues, Hon. Allan Ssewanyana Aloysius and Hon. Ssegirinya Muhammad were remanded to prison whereby they have been detained to date.
We are disheartened by the circumstances surrounding their continued incarceration without trial which all point to one thing – persecution by the State. We condemn the State for this persecution. Clearly, imprisonment without trial tantamount to persecution.
We are equally not satisfied with the way the judiciary has handled this matter. At one point, the judiciary released the Hon Members on bail but the State re-arrested them on similar charges. Other applications for bail have been unjustifiably denied or not entertained by the Judicial Officers at all, despite the overwhelming evidence on record that the Honourable Members suffer from illnesses to which they cannot get adequate medical attention while in prison. Charges were also raised without completing investigations. This has been a cause of back-and-forth presentation of the Members in Court and return to Prison.
On two occasions I have sought for the intervention of the Chief Justice and the Principal Judge in the matter to prevail over the matter so that the Members get a fair and speedy trial. Unfortunately, audience has been denied nor have the concerns received any response.
I fear there might be a syndicated move to imprison the Hon Members without trial contrary to Article 23 (1) and 28 (3) of the Constitution. These games have eroded the reputation of the judiciary and the trust citizens ought to have in the judiciary.
The actions of the State against the Hon Members have fundamentally contravened their constitutional right to presumption of innocence, right to apply for bail and a fair and speedy hearing. For this reason, we are inclined to move Parliament to intervene into this matter so that Hon. Allan Ssewanyana Aloysius and Hon. Ssegirinya Muhammad are released or subjected to a fair and speedy trial. An audit should also be conducted into continued detention of all political prisoners who were arrested and remanded during the 2021 general elections.
I so pray.