MPs want detention of Kyagulanyi clarified

Kyaddondo East MP, Robert Kyagulanyi, should be arraigned in court and not detained in his home if he has committed crimes, the Deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah, has said.

Oulanyah, who was presiding over the plenary sitting on Wednesday, 24 April 2019, said that the law provides for the arrest of only that person who is committing, has committed or is about to commit an offence.

“If the police has just established an offence that Kyagulanyi committed, then he should be taken to the courts of law but not his house,” he said, adding that “The government cannot hold someone in detention without pronouncing itself on a crime they have committed or pressing charges.”

The Deputy Speaker’s guidance followed a statement by the Minister of Internal Affairs, Hon. Mario Obiga Kania, on the continued arrest of Hon. Kyagulanyi, who is also a renowned musician.

Legislators yesterday demanded that government explains the continued confinement of the MP and why the Police prevented him and other opposition members from holding their scheduled events even after complying with the Public Order Management Act.

Members also sought explanations from government about the circumstances under which their colleague is being detained at his home in Magere, Wakiso district.

Hon. Theodore Ssekikubo (NRM, Lwemiyaga) said that the MP was being confined by the police at his home without any clear explanation. He said that government was unlawfully and illegally detaining Kyagulanyi at his home without pressing charges.

“You arrested Kyagulanyi and took him to his home on Sunday where you are holding him without any charges; you should set him free if you have failed to find any wrong with him,” he added.

The Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Betty Aol Ocan, said that not allowing Kyagulanyi to leave his home is similar to putting him in incarceration.

“The Minister of Internal Affairs should tell us why they are not taking him to court if they are putting him in confinement? It is impunity for the government to treat members of the public, especially a legislator [that way],” she said.

Ocan further warned the government saying that the oppressive act of holding Kyagulanyi in detention and other people that have been detained in the past will have repercussions in the long term as it’s likely to lead to anarchy.

Minister Obiga Kania said that Kyagulanyi is being detained for committing some crimes and was expected to make statements to the police. 

“We shall take the appropriate action to make sure that we are acting within the parameters of the law to detain Kyagulanyi,” he said.

Oulanyah asked the Minister to provide a definitive statement on the matter, and further advised the minister that his presentations should always be clear and definitive to avoid confusion.