By Ephraim Kasozi
Makindye West MP Allan Ssewanyana has been remanded to prison for allegedly violating the Ministry of Health guidelines to curb the spread of Covid-19 pandemic.The Magistrate’s Court at Makindye remanded the legislator to Kitalya prison until November 23 this year for hearing of his bail application.Mr Ssewanyana, the National Unity Platform (NUP) flag bearer for Makindye West Constituency, was jointly charged with four of his supporters; Robert Musisi, Ivan Wasswa, Maria Nabwase and Issa Musisi.The group denied the accusations of staging a campaign rally, which attracted a huge crowd of people, who did not adhere to Ministry of Health Covid-19 Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). The prosecution states that the accused and others still at large allegedly committed the offence on November 15, at Mulungu Landing Site in Munyonyo, a Kampala suburb.The Magistrate, Mr Jude Okumu, said he will hear the bail application at the Buganda Road Court through video conferencing. Advertisement
Driven amid tight security of the police, the suspects were presented in court in the evening at around 6pm after dispersing a crowd that had come following the case and their candidate who had been in custody since Monday.“People have been following you and giving police a hard time to control yet there is Covid-19. Please advise them to respect the SOPs,” Mr Okumu said.The court’s decision to remand Mr Ssewanyana followed vain pleadings by his lawyer, Mr Chrysostom Katumba, who had asked the court to grant bail to the MP reasoning that the offence for which they are charged is bailable.“Ssewanyana is a candidate in the 2021 political race who has a tight campaign schedule. We pray that the court be pleased to release him on bail,” Mr Katumba said.State Attorney, Ms Jackie Akao, told the court that investigations into the matter were still ongoing. She asked court for an adjournment for mention.Mr Ssewanyana speaks outMr Ssewanyana said the police presented him to court at late hours as a deliberate move for him not to apply for bail.“My sureties have been in court since morning but the police intended to bring me to court late so that I do not apply for bail. The police vowed to ensure that I go to prison,” he said.According to the legislator, the case seeks to curtail his efforts to retain the post as MP.