Mr Semujju Nganda, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) spokesperson has termed as ‘insane’ MP Odongo Otto’s dramatic statements that caused a storm at Kanyamunyu’s bail hearing at Kampala High Court on Tuesday.
Odonga, the Aruu county MP was restrained by wailing relatives of the late child rights activist; Kenneth Akena who was killed last November at Lugogo, near Kampala protested Ms Winnie Byanyima, the executive director of Oxfam International and wife of former presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye standing surety for suspected killers.
The standoff occurred moments after court adjourned to 5:00 pm to decide on whether to grant bail or not to a Kampala businessman Mr Mathew Kanyamunyu, his girlfriend Ms Cynthia Munwangari and his elder brother Joseph Kanyamunyu who are facing alleged charges of murder against the activist.
Speaking on Wednesday, MP Semujju set off on an aggressive line of questioning, initially posing a simple query: “Is he (MP Odonga) insane?”
“Unless MP Odonga Otto is acting like a mad man,” Mr Semujju said.
Mr Semujju, outlining a list of family related attachment, said he hoped Mr. Odonga might adjust his comments.
“This matter does not have anything to do with the FDC because it is not political. Ms Byanyima did not got to Court on behalf of her husband Dr. Besigye or for the FDC party but she did it for her family,” he said adding “We (FDC party) were surprised when he put Dr Besigye into the picture. He must be mad. Me as Semujju I am from FDC but I do not know who Kanyamunyu is.”
“Does he (Odonga) think that Kanyamunyu has no relatives or his next of kin do not get get to help him whether he is guilty of not?”
After the hearing of the bail application, relatives and some members of Parliament who included Odonga Otto (Aruu) and Beatrice Anywar (Woman Kitgum), protested Ms Byanyima’s decision to stand surety for the suspects. The MPs said former presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye “betrayed them” by sending his wife to stand surety for the accused.
Mr. Semujju reminded Mr. Odonga that he was asking about Mr. Odonga’s own experience, which included why he had gone to the Kampala High Court particularly. “The same reason he (Odonga) was there at Court was because he was there for Kenneth Akena just like Ms Byanyima was for Kanyamunyu,” Mr. Semujju implored.
“Besigye himself has been accused of murder. Besigye has been accused of rape but people when and stood surety for him,” he added.
FDC party criticize Odonga, Anywar over Byanyima/Kanyamunyu comments
The party yesterday released a statement clarifying that the party is not related to the criminal act before court and with examples; they explained that it is legal to represent one as a surety.
“We are a political party and not related to the criminal act before the courts today. We have however, made policy statements about the Criminal Justice. Also, for the record: Sam Njuba RIP acted as lawyer in Akbar Godi’s murder case. Mugisha Muntu, Reagan Okumu & Francis Epetait as sureties. We respect Criminal Justice processes.
Also Winnie Byanyima stood with Reagan Okumu and Mike Ocula when they were accused of the murder of an LC 3 chairman. Our supporters need to be reminded that standing for surety is legal and does not mean that one is in support of a criminal act however, that you take responsibility for one’s appearance in court. It is the Judge to decide the matter before the court not the surety”, read the statement published on their Facebook page.
It was chaotic yesterday at court when wife to opposition figure Winnie Byanyima arrived at bail case hearing. Flanked by wailing relatives of the deceased Akena Kenneth dressed in black tee shirts, the MP attacked Winnie Byanyima for “supporting a murderer”.
Hon. Odongo Otto has been at the centre of stirring up tribal sentiments since the death of Akena Kenneth.
The counter reactions could produce some groggy questioning with the ethnic notations.