Members of Parliament on, Wednesday 18th March 2015 demanded for the release of their colleague Bukooli South MP, Hon. Stephen Mayende Dede who has been held in Police custody for 10 days.
Members expressed their displeasure with the continued detention of Hon. Mayende following a statement by the State Minister of Internal Affairs Hon. James Baba on the circumstances surrounding his arrest.
Hon. James Baba informed Parliament that the Police had found credible information linking Hon. Mayende to the criminal activities which had led to the death of prominent people in eastern Uganda.
“Following intelligence leads, Hon. Mayende was arrested on Thursday, 5th March 2015 and investigations are ongoing. Should the investigations reveal that he has a case to answer,” the Minister said adding that; “he will be produced and charged in court”
Butambala County MP Hon. Muwanga Kivumbi urged the House to dismiss the statement of the Minister noting that it was giving wrong information about the status of the detained Member.
“The Police should abide by the dictates of the Constitution which states that no one should be detained for more than 48 hours. The minister is lying to this House and should therefore, not be taken seriously”, he said.
Hon. Julius Maganda (Samia-Bugwe South) informed the House that he had visited Hon. Mayende at Nalufenya Police Post where he is being held and that he was not well.
“Hon. Mayende is living under fear. He is being detained in the same cell with the people alleged to have committed the murders of the prominent people in the region,” he added.
The MP for Budadiri West, Hon. Nandala Mafabi said that a number of Ugandans must be suffering under police detention since they are held for more than the mandatory 48 hours.
“The law provides for police bond. The police are making a big mistake. If a Member of Parliament cannot be given bond, what about an ordinary Ugandan?” he wondered.
Hon. Jacob Oboth-Oboth from West Budama South also added that a Member of Parliament is a high profile person who should be accorded justice according to the provisions of the law.
Hon. Fox Odoi-Oywelowo(West Budama North) said that this is not the first time that a Member of Parliament has been arrested and their constitutional rights breached.
He cited the example of Hon. Chris Baryomunsi who was detained beyond the 48 hours following the circumstances surrounding the death of the late Hon. Cerinah Nebandah.
“There is a lot of breach of the law and policing for cameras. We need a commitment from the minister that our colleague will be released on bond or produced in court,” he said.
The Speaker Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga ruled that Hon. Mayende should be produced in court or released on police bond.
“Government should comply with the provisions of the constitution which they have breached. If you are still fishing for information, produce him in court or release him because it looks like you have no evidence,” the Speaker demanded.