KAMPALA-UGANDA/NEWSDAY: Six of the eight suspects in the foiled attempted assassination of Gen Edward Katumba Wamala have been slapped with 18 additional charges. The directorate of public prosecutions (DPP) has amended the charge sheet – increasing the charges from 6 to 24.
Muhammad Kagugube, Sirimani Kisambira, Abudalllah-Aziz Ramadhan Dunka, Kamada Walusimbi, Habib Ramadhan Marjan, and Huzaifah Wampa face additional charges including; murder, attempted murder, aggravated robbery, rendering services to a terrorist group, financing terrorism activists, and belonging to a terrorist organization.
The prosecution alleges 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, on the same date and place, the suspects also stole Shs 385 million from Tedrin Nalule, the cashier of Cheap General Hardware. The group has also been charged with the murder of Burton Okoti on April 27, 2019, at City Shoppers Supermarket Kanyanya, Mpererwe, Kawempe Division in Kampala district.
Prosecution contends that after shooting dead Okoti, the accused made off with Shs 2.2 million from Precious Kayesu and another Shs 4.5 million cash from Aisha Nakafeero. The prosecution also alleges that suspects attempted to murder Jalia Nantambi on the same date at the same venue.
The charges sanctioned by the DPP, Jane Abodo also indicate that while at Denovo Bakery Kalerwe in Kawempe Division, Kampala district on September 16th, 2017, the suspects killed five people including two special police constables; Hussein Mubiru and Moses Kalungi. The other victims were identified as Angello Nantongo, Everest Hakizza and Edward Ssenyonzi.
The prosecution further alleges that the suspects stole Shs 34.7 million from Nawal Nakatudde at the same place before attempting to kill her. It is also alleged that between March 2015 and June 2021 while in various places in Kampala, Luweero, Kasese, others in the country, and various places in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the suspects and others still at large rendered support to Hussein Lubwama alias Master to commission, prepare or instigate acts of terrorism.
Lubwama was shot dead as the police effected his arrest according to the fallen deputy inspector general of police, Lt. Gen Paul Lokech.
According to the prosecution, the suspects who are also charged with belonging to Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), which was gazetted as a terror organization, willingly collected funds directly or indirectly by stealing from members of the public with the intention of financing Lubwama or ADF.
After reading the charges for the accused persons, the Nakawa grade one magistrate Ponsiono Odwori told them not to say anything in relation to the crime, saying that his court lacks jurisdiction over capital offenses. As a result, the prosecution led by state attorney Rose Aoja asked for an adjournment, saying investigations into the matter were still ongoing.
The suspects’ lawyer, Geoffrey Turyamusiima didn’t object to the prayers and only asked for an opportunity to speak to his clients who appeared via the Zoom link from Luzira and Kigo prisons. The magistrate remanded the accused person until October 21.
Speaking to URN after the court session, Turyamusiima said the decision by the state to introduce new charges against his clients clearly shows that they do not have evidence implicating them on the first charges.
The suspects who have been slapped with the new charges are jointly charged with Yasin Nyanzi, Hussein Sserubula who only feature on the previous six counts. The group was primarily charged with the attempted murder of Gen Katumba, his bodyguard Sgt Khalid Kuboit and Boniface Mucunguzi.
They also face charges of murdering Brenda Nantongo, the daughter of Gen. Katumba and his driver Sgt Haruna Kayondo on June 1, 2021, along Kisota road in Kisasi, a Kampala city suburb. Inquiries are still ongoing in all cases.
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