Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions has asked the Court of Appeal to dismiss an appeal in which Godfrey Wamala alias Troy is challenging a 14-year jail term handed to him for his role in the death of Musician Moses Ssekibogo commonly known as Mowzey Radio.
Wamala was convicted in October 2019 by Lady Justice Jane Frances Abodo on the basis of evidence to sustain charges of manslaughter brought against him. The evidence indicated that on January 22, 2018, Mowzey Radio visited De Bar, a hangout owned by one George Egesa in Entebbe at the invitation of a female friend Pamela Musiimire.
In the Company of renowned producer Washington and a colleague identified as Muhammed Ategek, Mowzey joined Pamela, her sister Rina Namugumya and friends; Hassan Muwonge, Agnes Nakanwagi, Xavier Rukera and Wamala.
The group sat at the same table but along the way, Radio cracked a bad joke, branding Egesa a poor man who could not afford to buy drinks. To drive his point home, Mowzey bought a bottle of black-label whisky which he went on to serve across the table. The rest of it was, in a playful manner, splashed on the table and those around him.
However, the prosecution’s evidence shows that this act angered Egesa who asked Hassan to throw him out of De Bar. It’s the Prosecution’s case that at this point, Wamala grabbed Radio horizontally and hit him on the ground hitting his head.
Pamela and the others who were in the bar took Radio to Emmanuel Medical Center before transferring him to Nsambya Hospital and later to Case Hospital where he eventually succumbed to severe grievous injuries caused by blunt trauma.
According to the Prosecution, Wamala went into hiding and kept eluding police calls throughout the time when Radio was hospitalized. He, however, surrendered himself to the police through his sister Jackie kayaga Muwanga who notified the Police about his hideout in Kyengera.
Prosecution adds that Wamala summarily admitted having come in contact with the Radio and having witnessed the incident of assault that led to his eventual death. However, he denied participation in the offence.
After going through a full trial, Justice Abodo ruled that the prosecution failed to prove to the court beyond reasonable doubt that Wamala killed Radio but conquered the prosecution that Wamala participated in the brawl that ended the artiste’s life, for which he was granted a 14-year jail term.
Wamala filed a notice of appeal on November 8, 2019, through his lawyers of Rwakafuuzi and Company Advocates. The case has come up for hearing four years later before a Panel of three Court of Appeal Justices; Deputy Chief Justice Richard Buteera, Lady Justice Irene Mulyagonja and Monica Mugenyi.
But State Attorney Joseph Kyomuhendo has asked the Court to dismiss the appeal on the grounds that Wamala and his team have not shown a willingness to pursue the matter. He said that since the day they filed his notice, the team has not filed the documents to show their grounds for the appeal.
Kyomuhendo added that Wamala was furnished with all the court records to enable him to pursue and frame grounds of the appeal if he wished to challenge the court decision, but never responded to the same.
In response, Wamala asked the court to adjourn the matter saying that he was given an incomplete record from the High Court which didn’t show the evidence of the first Prosecution witness to enable his new lawyer Sylvia Namawejje to ably follow up. Wamala who appeared in Court via Zoom indicated that he has written several letters to the Registrar since 2021 to be given the missing information but he never got feedback.
According to Wamala apart from him and Kyomuhendo who was in court at the time of his conviction, nobody else can understand the missing information which he says once given to him is most likely to dispose of the entire case.
The Court of Appeal Registrar Lillian Bucyana informed the Justices that Wamala’s lawyer crosschecked with her and found all the necessary documents to be in her possession and promised to appear in court today. But she equally didn’t know why she didn’t show up. The Justices granted Wamala’s prayer for an adjournment until the next convenient session.