Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The prosecution is yet to disclose all the evidence they intend to rely on to pin eight suspects accused of murdering the daughter and driver of Transport and Works Minister, General Edward Katumba Wamala.
The suspects are, Yusuf Siraje Nyanzi, Hussein Sserubula, Muhammad Kagugube, Sirimani Kisambira, Abudullah Aziz Ramadhan, Dunka, Kamada Walusimbi, Habib Ramadhan Marjan and Huzaifah Wampa. They appeared on Monday before Lady Justice Alice Komuhangi Khaukha for a further pre-trial hearing of the case.
Prosecution led by Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Lino Anguzu, state attorneys Marion Ben Bella and Joseph Kyomuhendo, told court that they had shared with the suspects’ lawyers evidence contained which they intend to use in the trial. They added that they still have pending evidence they intend to share with them and thus asked to be given more time to do so.
The suspects’ lawyers led by Geoffrey Turyamusima and Nalukoola Luyimbazi, had no objection to the adjournment. However, the court has heard that the prosecution was not able to serve part of the evidence to Luyimbazi on the basis that he joined the case recently when they had already disclosed the evidence to Turyamusiima.
The court adjourned the case to November 28, 2022 and directed the prosecution to serve Nalukoola before they return to court for further guidance on how to proceed. The suspects were sent back on remand at Luzira prison.
Turyamusima said they intend to file an application for bail for the accused persons and an application for infringement of their human rights on grounds that they were tortured while in state custody, before their arraignment in court. He however says that they are restrained because they are unable to access their clients to sign the documents because of their imprisonment.
Turyamusima who has described the evidence given to them so far as one which doesn’t carry more weight and is therefore baseless, is hopeful that they will continue seeking justice on behalf of their clients.
The suspects were in January committed by the Nakawa Chief Magistrates court to face trial on 30 charges before the International Crimes Division. The charges are related to terrorism, ten counts of murder, 12 counts of attempted murder, aggravated robbery, rendering services to a terrorist group, the Allied Democratic Forces, financing terrorism activities, and belonging to a terrorist organization.
They were first arraigned on five charges including the attempted murder of General Katumba Wamala, his bodyguard Sergent Khalid Kuboit and Boniface Mucunguzi.
In October 2021, the Director of Public Prosecutions Jane Frances Abodo instituted 18 other charges against the suspects with exception of Nyanzi and Sserubula. The charges included allegations that while at Cheap General Hardware Nansana, in Wakiso district on May 29, 2019, the suspects together with others still at large with malice aforethought, unlawfully caused the death of Jimmy Atukuru, Frank Anania, Abaho Frank Mutsinda, and Amim Bugembe whom they shot dead.
According to the state, the suspects also stole 385 million Shillings from Tedrin Nalule, the cashier of Cheap General Hardware, and again murdered Burton Okoti on April 27, 2019, at City Shoppers Supermarket Kanyanya, Mpererwe, Kawempe division in Kampala district.
The prosecutors added that after shooting dead Okoti, the accused took off with 2.2 million Shillings from Precious Kayesu and another 4.5 million Shillings from Aisha Nakafeero, and also attempted to murder Jalia Nantambi on the same date and venue.
The suspects are also implicated in the murders at Denovo Bakery Kalerwe in Kawempe division, on September 16th, 2017 where five people including two special police constables Hussein Mubiru and Moses Kalungi were shot dead before injuring Angello Nantongo, Everest Hakizza, and Edward Ssenyonzi.
The office of the DPP also alleges that the accused persons stole 34.7 million Shillings from Nawal Nakatudde at Denovo Bakery before attempting to kill her.
Prosecution evidence also shows that the guns that were used in the crimes were examined and found to have been used in the murder of Major Muhammad Kiggundu and his bodyguard Sergent Steven Mukasa in November 2016 and that the pistol recovered had been assigned to the late Corporal Erau Kenneth, who was the bodyguard to the late Police Spokesperson Andrew Felix Kaweesi that had been stolen when the duo was gunned down together with Godfrey Mambewa on March 17th, 2017.