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Jinja mayor drags ex-driver to court over death threats

By Jackie Nambogga

Added 15th April 2017 11:17 AM

Batambuze accuses Peter Wewa for threatening to injure or kill him.

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A prisons officer accompanying Peter Wewa after court declined to grant him bail.Photos by Jackie Nambogga

Batambuze accuses Peter Wewa for threatening to injure or kill him.

The Jinja Municipality Mayor Majid Batambuze has dragged his former driver and key campaigner in the 2016 mayoral elections to courts of law for allegedly attempting to kill him.

Batambuze accuses Peter Wewa for threatening to injure or kill him. He also, accuses Wewa of conspiracy to commit a felony, demanding property with intent to steal and criminal trespass at his home.

Wewa, a Kenyan national, appeared before the Principal Magistrate Grade I, Robert Mukanza at Njeru court in Njeru town council, Buikwe district where he denied the charges read to him on Thursday.

Simon Kigwana, the resident state prosecutor said the charges were allegedly committed between March and April 2017 at Batambuze’s home located at Bukaya, Njeru municipality, Buikwe district.

Chris Munyamasoko, Wewa’s lawyer, said the charges were bail-able.

However, Kigwana protested Wewa’s bail application arguing that he was a foreigner and wondered if he had valid travel documents such as a passport and work permit that mandated him stay in Uganda.

He said the charges were serious in nature as they related to threatening one’s life.

“Threatening violence shouldn’t be taken lightly because it involves life, the accused may cause more threat to the victim,” Kigwana noted.

Kigwana stated that Wewa had no fixed place of aboard because he was residing at Mayfair hotel located in Jinja town, owned by the applicant. “It is evident that the accused person was arrested from a hotel room. Granting him bail may be suicidal,” Kigwana said.

He added that Wewa was likely to interfere with the investigations since there was another suspect still at large yet they needed to recover relevant exhibits as well.

Similarly, Sgt. Fred Mugweri, the investigating police officer in the matter swore an affidavit expressing fear of Wewa being given bail.

However, Munyamasoko said Mugweri’s affidavit was not relevant and didn’t comply with the rules of government.

“Once an affidavit is sworn, it has to show who presided over it. We don’t know if it is just purported. It doesn’t qualify and pray to court to object it,” Munyamasoko said.

He also explained that his client has a home in Walukuba/Masese division with a wife and a child.

“These are speculations that my client doesn’t have a home, he was only staying at the hotel to ease the mayor’s movements but he stays in Walukuba,” the lawyer said.

Munyamasoko said his client, a mere driver wouldn’t in anyway interfere with investigations yet the complainant is a politician who had control over the matter.

Kigwana said Wewa’s two sureties Isa Byensi and Esau Tumukunde were not substantial after their LC1 chairperson, James Isiko of Oboja village in Jinja town addressed their introduction letters to the Jinja chief magistrate, not Njeru court.

“Your worship, I pray their introduction letters be taken to the right place, not here,” said the state.

In response, Munyamasoko said these were ordinary errors as most LC1’s were illiterate and Isiko only knew the Jinja court. “I pray that court takes this as an error,” he said.
The sureties submitted their national identity cards and when the magistrate asked Byensi his age, he said he was 29.

When Byensi was asked the year he was born, he said 1982 yet on the national identity, it states 1972 implying he is 45 years.

However, court upheld the state’s objection and Wewa was consequently remanded to Nyenga prison until April 20, 2017.

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