Speaker of Parliament Rt.Hon Jacob Oulanyah
Speaker Jacob Oulanyah has dissuaded Members of Parliament against politicising the granting or denying of bail, saying it is improper.
The denial of bail to MPs Allan Ssewanyana (NUP, Makindye West) and Muhammad Ssegirinya (NUP, Kawempe North) by the High Court in Masaka angered MP Ibrahim Ssemujju (FDC, Kira Municipality).
Ssemujju said the MPs were denied bail at the behest of President Museveni, who he said has been making comments against the granting of bail to those charged with capital offences.
“I was given a constitution and I took an oath to defend the Constitution; these two colleagues have been denied bail because the head of state has been threatening everyone that he wants them [incarcerated MPs] in prison yet they were granted bail,” he said.
Ssemujju would cheekily drag Security Minister Maj Gen Jim Muhwezi into the debate, by sharing his escapades in a room in Luzira Maximum Security Prison.
Minister Muhwezi protested the references to him by MP Ssemujju.
“I give colleagues due respect and I expect the same from my colleagues; I don’t know whether my name is sweet or he is being paid to mention my name,” said Hon Muhwezi.
Hon Ssemujju Nganda
Speaker Oulanyah, an advocate, said in legal practice, bail is deniable as it is grantable.
“One time as an advocate, I applied for bail three times; It is constitutional to grant bail, it is also constitutional to deny bail…let’s not politicise these matters,” he said.
This comes at a time when debate on reported amendments to restrict the granting of bail in cases where the accused persons are charged with capital offences.
Museveni’s attempt to get the NRM caucus to buy into the proposal early this month failed, when majority ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) MPs rejected the proposal.
But there are fresh calls to have the legal processes to amend the Constitution and the Penal Code Act to accommodate the sentiments against the granting of bail to capital offenders until the lapse of 180 days.
Opposition MPs are opposed to the President Museveni’s views on bail.