By Davis Buyondo
HEARING of a case in which rally driver Ponsiano Lwakataka (38) and Abdallah Mukiibi (28) are accused of assaulting a police constable was postponed again on Thursday after the defendants, defense lawyer and the presiding magistrate failed to turn up.
Grade One magistrate Suzan Awidi who had postponed the case to September 4th did not show up. The defendants as well as their lawyer Hassan Kamba were also not in court.
But the State Prosecutor Miriam Akite, the complainant Mikidaad Kabiito and another state witness Charles Yebuga were present.
This is the third time the case is being postponed since Lwakataka and Mukiibi were granted bail on 1st August 2014.
From 1st August, the case was postponed to 7th August but did not take off because Akite, the state prosecutor was sick. It was then pushed to 4th September but Lwakataka, Mukiibi and the magistrate failed to show up, and later postponed to 30th September.
However, Akite told the New Vision that the absence of the magistrate did not communicate her absence which interrupted the hearing of the case. She added that although the magistrate was absent, her diary had 30th September as a free day to proceed with the case.
She further said that prosecution could not process the warrant of arrest of the defendants for having failed to attend court because the magistrate was also absent.
The adjournment of the case left complainant Mikidaadi Kabiito, a Special Police Constable attached to Sanje Police post in Rakai district frustrated.
Kabiito said that he travels more than 25 kilometres to attend court on the set dates but ends up frustrated by unclear events that interrupt the case. He added that he spends a lot of money on transport which constrains his budget whenever the case is postponed.
Also Charles Yebuga, a police constable attached to Sanje Police station, who is the second prosecution witness in the case, was present. He also expressed dissatisfaction saying that the defendant and Magistrate's absence affected his work.
The Lwakataka and Mukiibi are accused of reportedly assaulting Mikidaadi while on duty. The incident allegedly occurred on 3rd March 2013 at Kanamiti village when the accused assaulted and threatened the officer on duty.
They were charged with four counts including causing grave harm, obstruction of an officer on duty, threatening violence and conspiracy to prevent an officer on duty from apprehending suspects who had immature fish.
It is alleged that Kabiito lost three front teeth and sustained serious bodily harm in the scuffle. The constable No.4347 was rushed to hospital for medication and later filed a case against the duo on file RKI/CRB/194/2014.
During his testimony Kabiito said that Mukiibi used a hammer to hit him on the jaw under Lwakataka's command. However, the accused pleaded not guilty to the charges and were later granted bail.
Lwakataka's supporters had turned up for the hearing of the case but were also surprised to hear he was absent.
Lwakataka assault case stalls again