By Michael Odeng
Lawyer Male Mabirizi has withdrawn an application in which he sought to block the prosecution of embattled MPs Muhammad Ssegirinya and Allan Ssewanyana on murder charges.
Mabirizi had dragged the Director of Public Prosecution, Jane Frances Abodo, and Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka to the Constitutional Court, for preferring new charges of murder against the legislators shortly after they had been granted bail in September 2021.
He was challenging the constitutionality of the charges against Ssegirinya (Kawempe North) and Ssewanyana (Makindye West) for the alleged murder of Joseph Bwanika that were instituted on September 29, 2021, in the Masaka High Court.
The withdrawal of the applications means that the International Crimes Division of the High Court presided over by Judge Alice Komuhangi can now proceed with the pre-trial of the accused persons.
In his application dated April 25, 2023, Mabirizi said, “It is better that a man should not be brought to justice at all than justice be done to him without the public being given the opportunity of seeing it done.”
Mabirizi complained that the events of March 21, and April 3 and 24, when they were called to the chambers for a short discussion by the presiding judge prove that they prefer secretive rather than open-ended proceedings.
He also claimed that the Judiciary is concentrating on violating basic fair principles and humiliating him, purporting to enforce rules which do not exist anywhere in law books.
“My continued participation in proceedings will amount to abdication of my constitutional duty to expose, combat and eradicate corruption and abuse or misuse of power by those holding public offices,” Mabirizi contends.
The legislators are being accused together with five others of murdering several people using machetes in the Greater Masaka region last year.
The two MPs face several counts of murder, terrorism and attempted murder, jointly with five others, emanating from last year’s spate of killings in Masaka. The others are Bulo Wamala, John Mugerwa, Jackson Kanyike, Mike Sserwadda and Jude Muwonge.