Jailed Opposition MPs Allan Ssewanyana (Makindye West) and Muhammad Ssegirinya (Kawempe North) are likely to benefit from mandatory bail as provided for by the constitution.
The duo were charged on September 7 last year before Masaka Magistrates Court on charges related to murder, terrorism, and aiding terrorism during last years machete attacks in Masaka were close to 30 lives were lost by machete-wielding men and later slapped with additional charges of terrorism and abetting terrorism.
After the eight days, they will have clocked the constitutional 180 days on remand without trial in which a suspect facing capital offences is entitled to be released on mandatory bail, also known as court bond or automatic bail Under Article 23(6)(b) and (c) of the Constitution.
According to Article 23(6)(b) and (c) of the Constitution, the accused person has the right to apply to be released on bail and if the person has been on remand for 60 days before trial begins in the chief magistrates courts.
The law also gives a suspect 180 days if they have been on remand before trial starts in respect of a capital offence only tribal by the High Court although several suspects have remained on remand despite such constitutional provisions.
In the bail amendments prepared for Cabinets consideration, Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka proposed that Article 23(6) (b) of the Constitution be amended to provide that a person accused of committing an offence triable by both the High Court and subordinate courts shall not be granted bail until after 180 days or trial commencement, or when the Director of Public Prosecutions discontinues proceedings.
Under the current bail law, an accused person has a constitutional right to apply to be released on bail and court has the discretion to release or not to release him/her.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament Anita Among has on Friday facilitated the families of incarcerated Allan Ssewanyana and Muhammad Ssegirinya with Shs 5 million each.
Following a closed-door meeting in her office at Parliament, the deputy speaker handed Shs 5 million to MP Ssegirinya and Ssewanyanas wives. Ssegirinyas mother, Justine Nakajumba, who was also part of the meeting was also given Shs 5 million totaling Shs 15 million.
According to sources, the two families asked Among to help their husbands get out of jail because they were the bread winners at home and that the crimes against them are trumped up.
It should be noted that this comes shortly after government deferred committal of Ssegirinya and Ssewanyana to the High Court for trial to March 10, 2022 when the two appeared before the magistrate court in Masaka on Tuesday this week via zoom platform where they were remanded after the request of the state prosecutor who asked for more time to prepare necessary documentation.