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Kaweesi murder suspects: Free but still incarcerated

By Farooq Kasule

Added 17th July 2019 06:21 PM

The suspects were given bail on March 19, but their release papers have not been signed yet. On Wednesday, judge Mugambe was scheduled to sign their papers, but for the fourth time, she did not appear in court.

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The suspects were given bail on March 19, but their release papers have not been signed yet. On Wednesday, judge Mugambe was scheduled to sign their papers, but for the fourth time, she did not appear in court.

Some of the suspects who appeared in court in June

Eight men accused of murdering former Police spokesperson Andrew Felix Kaweesi remain on remand despite securing bail in March this year.

They are Abdul-Rashid Mbaziira, Aramanzani Noordin Higenyi alias Taata Abdullazack, Yusuf Mugerwa alias Wilson, Bruhan Balyejusa alias Jimmy Masiga Ogutu, Joshua Magezi Kyambadde alias Abdu Rahman, Jibril Kalyango alias Abu Aisha, Yusuf Siraje Nyanzi alias Jimmy Ssentamu and Shafik Kasujja.

On March 19, High Court judge Lydia Mugambe released each of them on a non-cash bail of sh150m, but ordered for verification of their places of abode before signing their release papers.

The group has been on remand since April 2017 when they were arraigned before Nakawa Chief Magistrates’ Court over the murder of the former Police spokesperson.

Kaweesi was killed in cold blood on March 17, 2017, in the city suburbs of Kulambiro in Nakawa division together with his bodyguard Kenneth Erau and driver Geoffrey Mambewo.

On Wednesday, Mugambe was scheduled to sign on their release bonds, but for the fourth time, she did not appear in the courtroom.

Her continued disappearance in the court sparked off protests from the accused’s lawyers and their relatives.

Lawyer Godfrey Turyamusiima wondered why the court has taken so long to order for their client’s release yet it granted them bail.  

“This is shocking and I do not have much to say about it,” Turyamusiima said.

“You cannot grant bail to a suspect and fail to release him. What kind of justice system is this? Why did you dupe us that you had given them bail?”  Swaib Sefu said.

Sefu said they are financially constrained and they might soon stop attending court sessions.

“I come from Mbale to attend court. I have sold all the chickens at home. However, what pains me is that we are taken for granted,” Sefu noted.

Mariam Ahmad vowed never to attend court: “I cannot be duped to this extent. I will never appear in this court. The good thing they have my contact if Kyambadde dies, they will inform us to pick our body for burial,” she said.

The matter has been rescheduled for August 1.

The group is part of the 23 suspects that were charged with Kaweesi murder and later committed to the High Court on October 23, 2017 to stand trial.

Their co-accused was last year released on mandatory bail by Nakawa Chief Magistrate’s Court pending Police investigations.

They are Umar Maganda, Ahmed Ssenfuka, Sheikh Musa Ntende, Hassan Tumusiime, Ibrahim Kissa, Hamid Magambo, Abdul-Majid Ojerere, Sauda Ayub, Osman Muhammed Omar, Asuman Mugoya, Ibrahim Ssemwanga alias superman and Swaleh Ddamulira. 

Mandatory bail is granted to capital offenders that spends over six months on remand without committal.

The charges

Prosecution alleges that the group between January and March 2017 in diverse districts of Kampala, Wakiso, Mukono, Jinja, Iganga, Bugiri, Busia, Tororo and others still at large for purposes of influencing government involved themselves in the murder of Kaweesi. 

 

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