By Ali Wasswa
The Member of parliament Elect for Kawempe North Muhammad Ssegirinya has been released on bail following a tough legal battle by his lawyers and state prosecutors.
Through his legal team led by Busiro MP Medard Lubega Sseggona, Ssegirinya asked court presided over by Buganda Road Grade One Magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu to be released on bail on grounds that the charge against him is bailable and that he is ready to report to the court when needed.
Ssegirinya who appeared in court via zoom from Kitalya government prison with a cannula on his left-hand side looking frail, added that he has an election petition filed against him which he needs to attend to.
Ssegirinya’s lawyers also said that he had substantial sureties including Ntenjeru South MP elect Patrick Nsanja Kayongo, Engineer Robert Mawanda and Derrick Nyeko the Makindye East MP elect.
But prosecution led by Jacqueline Akao objected on grounds that the case is at an advanced stage after three witnesses testified earlier and that they are left with only one witness to conclude their case.
As such, Akao argued that by granting Ssegirinya bail, he was most likely to interfere with the trial.
However, in her ruling, Kamasanyu noted that bail can be granted at any stage of the trial and she thus asked Ssegirinya to pay 3 million shillings cash and each of his three sureties to execute a non-cash bond of 50 million shillings.
She has also ordered them to deposit their original identification cards with the court and adjourned the case to May 12th 2021 for further hearing.
Ssegirinya whose election as Kawempe North MP is being challenged for lack of academic qualifications has been in jail since his arrest on March 22, 2021, from mini price, downtown Kampala.
According to the prosecution, Ssegirinya was arrested during a protest against the outcome of the January 14 presidential elections, and to demand the release of National Unity Platform supporters who are detained in various facilities across the country.
He allegedly marched through the streets alongside others, holding placards with a list of names of those who are still held in custody. Many of them were arrested during campaigns and are still in detention.
Another placard listed Nubian Li, Bobi Wine’s music partner who was also arrested from Kalangala and later charged before the General Court Martial among others. Nubian Li, officially known as Ali Bukeni, the person who presented Kyagulanyi before the Electoral Commission for nomination started his pursuit for the presidential seat.
Earlier before Ssegirinya was granted bail, the prosecution adduced evidence from three witnesses who pinned Ssegirinya.
The witnesses are Flavia Musimenta, the Officer in Charge of Mini Price police post who arrested Ssegirinya before handing him to Kampala Central Police Station for further management, Kampala Central Police Station Operations Officer David Nahamya who also participated in the arrest and statement recording and Erias Kijjampora, the investigating officer in the case