Uganda’s President Museveni flops first round in battle to suppress bail for murder suspects

Museveni sends plea to NRM parliamentarians, urging them to support bail refraining murder suspects from being freed [Image: pres.museveni/Twitter]
Uganda—Barely a week ago, President Museveni renewed his fight against giving bail to suspects accused of committing enormous crimes like murder.

“For somebody to kill a person and you give them bail is a provocation,” the president said. “It is abominable. I would like us to cure this ideological disagreement. This bail, what is the hurry? Who are you trying to please? Who said it is right?

“It is not in the constitution, I am going to work on it, I am going to summon the NRM caucus and if necessary we put it into a referendum.” He stressed.

However, the NRM parliamentary caucus has rejected the proposal by Museveni to have an amendment in the penal code act banning granting of bail to murder suspects and those accused of committing grave offenses.

Sources who attended the caucus meeting at Kololo Independence Grounds said many members fear that the proposal could come back and bite them.

President Museveni is said to have pleaded with MPs to see his side of the argument, saying they should put themselves in the shoes of the victims of grave crimes like rape and defilement.

Sources in the meeting indicated that the president argued, all suspects of murder, treason, terrorism, embezzlement of government money should not be granted bail until the court delivers the final verdict.

However, most MPs were not persuaded and others feared that if such a proposal is endorsed, Uganda risks being blacklisted internationally.

Some MPs said the proposal is unconstitutional, inhuman, and is likely to be used by ill-hearted people.

They advised the president to instead help strengthen security organs and institutions like the Directorate of Public Prosecution and the Criminal Investigations Directorate.

The president, however, gave the caucus members two weeks to internalize his proposal before another meeting to have the final decision on the matter.

Opposition legislators in Parliament warned their colleagues of the repercussions of changing their minds from the position they have taken in the meeting with the president.