Parliament Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah has cautioned legislators against politicizing the ongoing investigations into the Masaka murders that saw the arrest of two legislators that have since been denied bail.
Oulanyah yesterday said during a plenary session that in legal practice, bail is deniable as it is grantable therefore, members should not turn political spaces such as Parliament into agitation platforms for granting colleagues bail which is not an inherent right.
“It is constitutional to grant bail, it is also constitutional to deny bail; let’s not politicize these matters,” he said adding that lawmakers should allow the justice, law and order sector do its work to a logical conclusion.
The remarks followed concerns raised by Ibrahim Ssemujju (FDC, Kira Municipality) over the denial of bail to MPs Allan Ssewanyana (NUP, Makindye West) and Muhammad Ssegirinya (NUP, Kawempe North) by the High Court in Masaka.
Ssemujju attributed the denial of bail to the MPs to comments made by President Yoweri Museveni, who he said has been against the granting of bail to those charged with capital offences.
“I was given a constitution and I took an oath to defend the Constitution; these two colleagues have been denied bail because the head of state has been threatening everyone that he wants them in prison yet they were granted bail,” he said.
The duo was arrested last month over accusations of involvement in the murder of 26 people in the areas of greater Masaka by machete-wielding assailants and engaging in terror activities.
Museveni on September 28, 2021 met the NRM parliamentary caucus to discuss a range of issues, among them, to get the NRM caucus to look into the question of granting bail to suspects of capital offences.
The proposal was, however, rejected by the MPs.
There was, however, supposed to be a follow-up meeting which is yet to happen but several media reports have indicated that Cabinet has already approved principles of the bills to amend laws related to the bail right.
There are nevertheless fresh calls to have the legal processes to amend the Constitution and the Penal Code Act to accommodate the sentiments against the granting of bail to capital offenders until the lapse of 180 days.
Opposition MPs and a section of the public are, however, opposed to President Museveni’s views on bail arguing that he is using it as a façade to cover for state excesses and persecute political decent.