Uganda Prisons Denies Claims of Jailed MPs Meeting President

Uganda Prisons Denies Claims of Jailed MPs Meeting President

Uganda Prisons Spokesman Frank Baine has dismissed reports that two of the three NRM MPs arrested for soliciting bribes were taken from Luzira Prison to meet with President Museveni. The MPs in question are Yusuf Mutembuli, Vice Chairperson of the Parliament’s Legal Committee, Cissy Namujju, Lwengo Woman MP, and Paul Akamba, Busiki County MP. They are accused of soliciting a bribe from Mariam Wangadya, Chairperson of the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC), amounting to 20% of the anticipated increased budget for the UHRC, in exchange for influencing the Budget Committee’s decision to boost the UHRC’s budget.

The allegations of a secret meeting with the president were initially raised by lawyer and human rights activist Nicholas Opiyo. He posted on X, “Two NRM MPs charged and remanded to prisons on corruption charges were, allegedly, after their detention, secretly whisked from their detention at Luzira Prisons to meet the President at State House, Entebbe. What the president was discussing with the two legislators is unclear but it certainly undercuts his public posture as an anti-corruption crusader.” Opiyo did not specify which MPs allegedly met with the president.

In response, Baine issued a statement clarifying that no such meeting took place. “False information circulating on social media platforms, purportedly by Counsel Nicholas Opiyo, alleges that two NRM MPs remanded to Luzira Prisons on corruption charges were stealthily taken to State House and met with the President. As Prisons, we categorically state that these allegations are false and unfounded…there is no reason whatsoever for prisoners to be produced at State House at any time of the day or night.” Baine added that these allegations were intended to mislead the public for personal political reasons and should be disregarded.

Last month, during his state of the nation address, President Museveni hinted at the impending arrest of the MPs but expressed an interest in extending “amnesty to them.”

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