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Our release was not negotiated with government-bailed MPs

Bailed legislators, Allan Ssewanyana and Muhammad Ssegirinya have clarified to the public that there was no need for negotiations in their release from prison.

The National Unity Platform (NUP) legislators were addressing journalists in Kampala City on Wednesday.

Since their release on February 13, after 17months without trial, the Makindye West legislator Ssewanyana and the Kawempe North counterpart, Ssegirinya had never shared their detention story to the country.

This situation in return stirred up a speculation of possible negotiations between the Government and the two opposition legislators before their release.

Their release came after the Masaka High Court Judge, justice Lawrence Tweyanze, accepted their bail application with stringent conditions.

Some of the conditions for their release included a sh20m court bail each, handing in of their passports to court and their sureties were asked to pay non-cash bail of sh50m each. Also they are to report to the International Crimes Division of the High Court once every month.

“We trust our legal team under the stewardship of the Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago, as a legal practitioner who has been proven upright overtime and cannot do anything for his personal gain,” Ssewanyana said.

Ssegirinya, stated that he could not negotiate his freedom because it is provided for by the supreme law of the land and all the charges against them were allegations with no evidence.

“After the prison officers told us that we were free to go home, my colleague Ssewanyana was too ill and we had to carry him into the ambulance to be driven to Massulita in Masaka on the approval of his mother and for my case i was taken to my home” Ssegirinya said.

According to Ssewanyana, the delay to call for the press conference was due to the poor state of health he and Ssegirinya were in.

He said he was admitted at Nsambya hospital after getting a complication in the lungs and a blood clot inside the chest.

The doctors also advised him to seek treatment from a psychologist and a psychiatrist for trauma, he added.

While for Ssegirinya, he was battling cancer and hypertension at the time of his release and so he was admitted at Rubaga Hospital.

On February 26 after Ssegirinya visited Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, the opposition NUP party president, at his home in Magere, the Kawempe North legislator promised him that he would soon hold a press conference to share his ordeal with the public.

Ssegirinya strongly refutes the negotiation propaganda and rather indicates that the pressure from Journalists that of NUP and other opposition political parties, their constituencies, traditional institutions, religious leaders and the international community could have pushed the government ‘hard’ to grant them their freedom.

The two legislators applauded the NUP spokesperson, Joel Ssenyonyi and the party president for allowing them to speak to the public and disapprove to whoever wanted to insinuate that they can no longer visit their party headquarters because of being compromised by government.

The duo vowed to maintain the same energy in serving their constituencies and carry on the advocacy for their friends’ freedom who are still jailed.

They were arrested on September 9, 2021 on allegations of being the masterminds behind the Machete attacks in the greater Masaka area that left more than 20 people killed.

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