Two prominent Ugandan opposition MPs were charged Tuesday in connection with a wave of gruesome murders by machete-wielding gangs, an act their lawyer described as “political persecution”.
Villagers in the Masaka area have was terrorized by thugs who police say hacked up to 30 people, mostly elderly, to death in their homes at night in just two months.
MPs Muhammad Ssegirinya and Allan Sewanyana became Charged with three cases of murder and one of attempted murder in Masaka District Court, her lawyer Elias Lukwago said.
“They denied all allegations … this is political persecution by Museveni’s military regime,” he added added. “We strongly condemn the use of a distorted judicial process to achieve the political goals of a party in power.” Sprees had accused MPs of orchestrating the attacks “to create fear among the population and to make people hate the government”.
The two men belong to the opposition National unit platform (NUP) of the pop star and politician Bobi. to Wine – who challenged Yoweri Museveni in a controversial election in January.
The lawyer said they were in custody until September 15 in the notorious maximum security Kitalya prison near Kampala.
< Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, claimed the allegations were part of a conspiracy by Museveni's government to denigrate the opposition.
“When the president recently said that (the) opposition was behind the Murder is stuck, we thought it was a bad joke. But when the police called our MPs in advance, we knew the regime’s grand scheme to involve NUP leaders in the murders was being implemented, “he said.
In a speech last month, Museveni described the perpetrators of the murders as “pigs” and swore they would be defeated.
‘Fled to Safety’
Museveni won a sixth term in the elections, of which Wine, who was behind the veteran foot Her second place and repeatedly targeted by the authorities says she was rigged.
“No matter what Museveni’s regime does, one day Uganda will be liberated and those charged with crimes will because they are from the opposition, will be released, “said Wine.
In Masaka, which is southwest of the capital Kampala, residents demanded that the government take more measures to stop the marauding murderers. < / p>
“While we mourn our relatives who have been killed, we live in fear of the machete-wielding gangs,” said Sarah Kasujja, 45, a small trader whose 81-year-old grandfather was among the victims.
“Some elderly people who have lived alone … … have fled their homes to seek safety in the cities,” she told AFP.
“The Government should take the blame for not defending us against the killers. The army and police were deployed, but arrived too late. “
The chairman of the Uganda National Council for Older Persons, Charles Isabirye, described the murder wave as a” shock to the nation “.
“It is unbelievable that someone kills old people who lead quiet lives in their homes,” he said.
“We ask the government to protect the elderly in the country and the elderly People behind (the murders) should be identified and punished. “