Gov’t sued over bail amendments

MPs Muhammad Ssegirinya and Allan Ssewanyana in Masaka court. (Courtesy photo)

Kampala City lawyer, Mr Hassan Male Mabirizi, has petitioned High Court’s Civil Division seeking orders nullifying the recent “Cabinet Memorandum on Police Bond and Court Bail” which was presented to cabinet by the Attorney General (AG) on October 6, 2021.

Among the recommendations brought before cabinet was the prohibition for bail for persons facing charges triable by Magistrates and High Courts or only by High Court.

The AG also proposed increment of time in custody before appearing in court from 48 hours to 48 business hours.

Mr Mabirizi believes these proposals are unconstitutional.

“The Attorney General, a minister who took oath to protect the Constitution cannot initiate a process to derogate inherent human rights; and did not carry out reasonable stakeholders’ and public participation,” argued Mr Mabirizi in his petition.

As such, the advocate wants court to quash the cabinet memorandum because “it’s illegal ultra vires the functions of the Attorney General and cabinet, procedurally improper, irrational and unreasonable.”

He also wants court “to prohibit Parliament or any Uganda Government official or agency from dealing with and / or implementing the cabinet memorandum”.

This comes as two National Unity Platform (NUP) Members of Parliament (MPs): Mr Muhammad Ssegirinya and Mr Allan Ssewanyana return to Masaka High Court today to reapply for bail.

The MPs whose arrest on murder allegations and subsequent release on bail is believed to have inspired the bail amendment proposals by Uganda’s longest serving President Yoweri Museveni Tibuhaburwa, are seeking to be released again on bail citing health complications among others.

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