Lawyer Samuel Muyizzi Mulindwa, representing Kawempe North Member of Parliament Muhammad Ssegirinya in a terrorism case, informed the International Crimes Division of the High Court in Kampala on Monday about a critical development.
Ssegirinya, jointly charged with Makindye West Member of Parliament Allan Ssewanyana and others, faces allegations of terrorism, murder, and attempted murder relating to the wave of machete killings in Masaka district two years ago, resulting in over 20 fatalities and numerous injuries.
However, Muyizzi revealed to ICD Lady Justice Alice Komuhangi Khaukha that Ssegirinya couldn’t attend court due to his admission at St. Francis Nsambya Hospital since November 6th, 2023, in critical condition. Although the specific ailment was not disclosed, previous statements from Ssegirinya mentioned battles against liver, skin cancer, and heart-related complications.
Muyizzi presented medical reports indicating an acute medical condition under treatment at the University Hospital in Amsterdam, with a recommendation for further management at the same facility. He submitted a November 16th, 2023 document from Parliament, supporting Ssegirinya’s transfer for treatment. However, due to his current state, the transfer is pending while he continues treatment at Nsambya Hospital.
Requesting a prolonged adjournment, Muyizzi emphasized the impossibility of Ssegirinya’s court appearance within a month. Lawyers David Kasadda and Nicholas Senkumi representing the other accused individuals did not oppose Muyizzi’s plea.
State Attorney Richard Birivumbuka expressed a wish for Ssegirinya’s swift recovery, agreeing to the adjournment and confirming Ssegirinya’s adherence to trial proceedings through his representative Robert Walugembe Mawanda.
Justice Komuhangi, considering the confidential medical letter from Nsambya Hospital, granted the adjournment to February 19th, 2024. She directed the Prosecution to conclude evidence sharing against the accused by that date.
Asked about the impact on the co-accused’s right to a speedy trial, Muyizzi, a human rights lawyer, expressed a desire for their bail consideration, calling on the Director of Public Prosecutions to drop charges due to a lack of evidence against them.