On September 7, 2021 legislators, Allan Ssewanyana of Makindye West and Kawempe North’s Muhammad Ssegirinya were charged with murder before Masaka Magistrates’ Court . The charges were in connection to last year’s spate of killings that occurred in the Greater Masaka region. The killings were done by machete wielding men.
The two MPs were later slapped with additional charges of terrorism and abetting terrorism.
With eight days left for the jailed MPs to make 180 days since their arrest, the duo might benefit from the automatic bail.
After the said days, the NUP members 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, 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 court.
The law also gives a suspect 180 days if they have been on remand before trial starts in respect of a capital offence only triable by the High Court.
In the bail amendments prepared for Cabinet’s 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 court 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 be release him/her.