Kampala – Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo has assured the public that the trial of jailed National Unity Platform (NUP) legislators Muhammad Ssegirinya of Kawempe North and Allan Ssewanyana of Makindye West will commence in April this year.
The duo have spent more than a year in jail for several charges including murder, attempted murder, aiding and abetting terrorism, stemming from 2021 murders in greater Masaka spate of killings that left 26 people dead.
Their pre-trial proceedings were in December last year pushed to 20th February 2023 due to the absence of trial Judge, Alice Komuhangi Khauka.
Owiny-Dollo pledged Friday that he will take it upon himself to ensure that the duo get a fair trial.
“I want to announce that, this very quarter, the trial of the Members of Parliament will begin. Let me be again very clear, to the State, you are the one who brought these accused persons to court, you made allegations against them, the law says they are innocent until you prove the matter in court. When the trial begins, there will be no games, the State has brought them, the state has got the capacity to bring all it’s witnesses,” said Dollo
He went further to caution the would be trail judge to neither favour the prosecution nor defense Attorneys who may play tactics to delay the trial.
“I want to ask the trial judge, do not entertain any nonsense in the trial of these Members of Parliament, they are public figures and they must be tried in accordance with the law, if the State is not ready to have them tried, the trial judge has a right to dismiss the case, we will not accept any games, we will not accept any excuse, they will be tried under my watch,” assured Dollo
The head of the Judiciary said he will also go to the Masaka court where the two accused are also facing trial and repeat the same statements.
He made the remarks on Friday during the launch of the new law year 2023 at the Judiciary Headquarters in Kampala.
The launch of the New Law year was officiated by Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja on behalf of President Yoweri Museveni who is on official duties in the neighbouring Burundi.
In his speech read by the Premier, President Museveni commended the judiciary for the efforts in fighting case backlog, law reforms and initiatives.
He told the judges that the ordinary Ugandans do not come to court to hear legal Jagons but rather seek justice for their stolen land, coffee and cattle among others.
The President also warned judges that since their salaries have been enhanced due to increased funding, he doesn’t want to hear of corruption any more while they protect the thieves.