Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Buganda Road Magistrates Court has directed lawyers representing jailed Kawempe North Member of Parliament Muhammad Ssegirinya to appear and defend him in the case of inciting violence.
The directive was issued by Grade One Magistrate Siena Owomugisha when the matter came up on Thursday for hearing, but Ssegirinya’s lawyers Shamim Malende and Medard Lubega Sseggona were not around.
In this particular case, Ssegirinya also known as Mr Update is being accused of reportedly posting a statement on his Facebook page named as “Ssegirinya Muhammad Fans Page” calculated to incite the public to participate in violence against a section or group of people.
The Prosecution quotes Ssegirinya to have posted “I am warning those who are trying to assassinate Hon Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu that what will happen will be forty times worse than the 1994 Rwandan Genocide.”
It is estimated that one million people were slaughtered in ethnic cleansing in 100 days during the genocide in question.
The Prosecutors had previously presented one witness in this case and it was expected to resume today, but Ssegirinya’s lead lawyers Malende and Sseggona were absent and the State also didn’t have witnesses.
The Court has heard from State Attorney Ivan Kyazze that Sseggona had written a letter indicating that he wanted to join the case and he was not present today. Sseggona was represented by lawyer Musa Matovu. Kassim Damulira who was sent to represent Shamim Malende informed Court that she was feeling unwell and that’s why she didn’t show up today.
Kyazze also informed Court that they did not have witnesses today because the witnesses he wanted to bring are police officers and away in a training.
But the Magistrate was concerned that the reasons given in the last session by Ssegirinya’s lawyers for being absent were the same as of today and she thus directed them to appear in the next session and attend Court on grounds that the case has stalled.
Ssegirinya who was given bail on this particular case, his bail has further been extended till May 26th, 2022 when the case will be resuming.
His mother just like during other sessions she attended started crying loud and was moved out of court as she ranted why the Court cannot release her son.
Prior to his arraignment at Buganda Road Court, Ssegirinya had been arrested on September 7th, 2021 by Police in Masaka District together with Makindye West Member of Parliament Allan Ssewanyana and accordingly sent to Kigo prison on charges related to terrorism, aiding and abetting terrorism, murder and attempted murder .
These charges stem from their alleged involvement in the Greater Masaka Region machete killings which claimed more than 20 lives of people between July and September 2021.
The duo has since been denied bail by the High Court on these capital offenses.