In an appeal to Norbert Mao on Tuesday, Justine Ssanyu Nakajumba, mother of Kawempe North Legislator Muhammad Ssegirinya, sought a fresh review into her son’s prison overstay.
Muhammad Ssegirinya’s mother Justine Ssanyu Nakajumba has appealed to Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister, Norbert Mao for a fresh review of her son’s overstaying in prison.
In a statement confirming the meeting, Mao said he met with the legislator’s mother and assured her that he will look into the matter and ensure quick and fair judgment was made about the issue.
“Today I met Hon. Muhammad Ssegirinya’s mother at my office at the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs. We were joined by the Chairperson of the Uganda Human Rights Commission, Mariam Wangadya, who was visiting. I assured her that the right to a fair trial is paramount!” Mao wrote.
He, however, rose to state that he is facing challenges in passing decisions on matters that were never his own doing including charges against Ssegirinya and his counterpart Allan Ssewanyana the Makindye East legislator who were both detained over the same issues.
“By accepting the responsibility as the Minister has put me in a position to take responsibility over the consequences of decisions I was not part of. I have to face the mother Muhamad Ssegirinya because she wants justice for her son. I can only promise her a fair trial,” Mao cited.
The two legislators who have been in detention for now over one year and a half are being accused of a string of capital offences that all attract a maximum of the death penalty.
The legislators were together with seven others arrested on September 7 2021 in connection to the machete killings in Lwengo and Masaka districts.
They were later granted bail on 21 September but re-arrested from the outskirts of Kigo prisons, and fresh murder charges were preferred against them.
Through the lawyers, Ladislaus Rwakafuuzi, Erias Lukwago, and Shamim Malende, they applied for bail on account that it is their Constitutional right and that they had just been kidnapped by unknown people and whisked away only to find themselves in Kigo prison.
In response, however, the Masaka High Court Judge Lawrence Tweyanze denied them bail on the grounds that they (MPs) would flee from justice given their position in society as lawmakers, and they would also interfere with the trial process.
The two still detained last appeared in court on June 29 this year, in the Court of Appeal in Kampala led by a panel of three Justices including Cheborion Barishaki, Christopher Izama Madrama, and Eva Luswata who also denied them bail.
On their side, the Court of Appeal Justices argued that they do not have jurisdiction to hear the legislators’ appeal because there is no final order or decree by the High Court in form of either acquittal, dismissal of charges, or conviction and sentencing on charges against the accused persons.
The justices, however, raised concern that they (MPs) have overstayed on prolonged remand for nine months without being tried.