Uganda: “Grossly” abused 48hr detention limit right is under attack again

By Musinguzi Blanshe

Posted on Thursday, 9 March 2023 13:16
Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni in Entebbe, Uganda, on July 26, 2022. (Photo by BADRU KATUMBA / AFP)

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni, public prosecutors and police believe the 48-hour detention limit for suspects before being granted bail should be removed, but not everyone agrees.

They could be held for months, if not years, in prison before being released on bond. The latest example is that of two MPs – Muhammad Ssegirinya and Allan Ssewanyana – allied to Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine’s National Unity Platform (NUP), who were in detention for more than 18 months. They were released in February.

Though perennially abused, human rights lawyers argue that the 48-hour detention limit remains vital and its removal is unnecessary. “Although it’s one of the most ignored provisions of the constitution, it’s also one of the biggest pillars on which victims of illegal detention base to challenge their illegal detention,” Eron Kiiza, a human rights lawyer, tells The Africa Report.