October 20, 2021

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Gen Muhoozi apologises over Ssegirinya, Ssewanyana saga

Minister David Muhoozi

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Internal Affairs State Minister, Gen David Muhoozi has apologized over the delayed notification to Speaker Jacob Oulanyah on the rearrests of MPs Allan Ssewanyana (NUP, Makindye West) and Muhammad Ssegirinya (NUP, Kawempe North).

Speaker Jacob Oulanyah notified the House that after the plenary sitting yesterday, he was notified by Deputy Speaker Anita Among that she had actually received the letter written in the name of CIID Director, Grace Akullo.

“Concerns were raised about the rearrest of our colleagues; at the end of yesterday’s proceedings, I was notified by the Deputy Speaker that actually, she had received the summons from police,” said Oulanyah.

The letter was dated 23 September 2021.

Between writing the letter to the Speaker and the rearrests, there was no time to transmit the summons to the MPs, over which State Minister Muhoozi apologized.

“Mr Speaker there was delay in the transmission of the letter and I want to apologise,” he said.

Speaker Oulanyah revealed that earlier in the day, he held a meeting with Government Chief Whip, Hon Thomas Tayebwa, State Minister Muhoozi and Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Hon Mathias Mpuuga, in which they deliberated on the arrests.

“[It emerged that] the health condition of Hon Ssegirinya was not good and the Minister [Muhoozi] requested that we send our Parliament ambulances to pick him up,” he said.

Explaining the rearrests, Minister Muhoozi said new facts allegedly pinning the   MPs on new charges emerged, warranting their incarceration.

“In the course of investigations, fresh information arose that warranted their rearrest; criminal summons were sent to the Speaker as procedure demands,” he said.

MP Theodore Ssekikubo criticised Muhoozi, condemning his “highhandedness in arresting Members of Parliament.”

Ssekikubo said government should commit to Parliament that there will be no similar occurrences in future.

LoP Mpuuga and the entire Opposition boycotted the sitting with Speaker Oulanyah saying they communicated their absence, and explained that it is a result of their dissatisfaction over the handling of the two MPs.

The Opposition yesterday walked out as the debate on the rearrests raged, and they earlier today convened a news conference at which they condemned police and security agencies, which they accused of persecution.

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