They were charged with murder and aggravated robbery, contrary to section 188, 189, 285 and 286 of the Penal Code Act
Five people including three former Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF) officers have been charged with the murder of Zzana businesswoman and mobile money dealer Harriet Nalwadda.
Nalwadda together with her employee Maureen Nakabubi was on June 10, shot dead by five suspected robbers, riding on three motorcycles.
The duo was attacked at Zzana trading centre, as they were heading home. Zzana is 8km along the Kampala-Entebbe highway.
The five, who were charged on Monday at the General Court Martial, include Pte Bob Anichan, Pte Dennis Mangusho, L/Cpl Edward Mubale, casual labourer Stanley Mulunda and Nalumunye-Wakiso boda-boda rider Issa Ntale.
Court documents indicate that Anichan and Mangusho were dismissed from the UPDF having been convicted of a series of robbery and at the time of the commission of the recent Zzana murder. Anichan had just been released from prison after serving a 14-year-jail term.
The documents further indicate that Ntale’s role was to trail victims and transport assailants.
They were charged with murder and aggravated robbery, contrary to section 188, 189, 285 and 286 of the Penal Code Act.
On conviction, the offence of murder attracts a non-mandatory sentence of death while aggravated robbery life imprisonment.
The court chairman Lt Gen Andrew Gutti, read out the offences, as the accused, stood in the dock.
The accused were brought to court at about 10 am, in a private commuter taxi under tight security. They were later led to the court holding cell, where they spent about two hours before arraignment in court.
“We pray that you remand the accused because investigations in the matter are still ongoing,” prosecutor, Lt Col Raphael Mugisha told the court.
Prosecution alleges that the accused and others still at large on June 10, at Bunamwaya-Zzana with malice aforethought, shot dead Nalwadda and Nakabubi.
It was reported that Nalwadda first struggled with the thugs as they tried to take her bag, which contained money. They finally overpowered her, took the bag and shot her dead before shooting Nakabubi as well.
The duo is also accused of robbing Nalwadda of sh6.8m, using two submachine guns (SMG) that they illegally possessed.
The group were also charged with the murder of Edward Walugembe of Church Zone in Nateete. They were also accused of robbing Mwesigwa Kigongo of sh400,000 and a Samsung mobile phone on May 14, 2019.
However, the accused denied all the charges before the seven-member panel, chaired by Gutti, who also took an oath to serve as the head of the court for the third term.
Judge’s advocate Col Richard Tukacungura on Monday swore in the chairperson and other 17 members of the court, for a one-year term. The court has been in recess since June 9, 2019.
The accused will re-appear in court on August 5, for mention of their case.
A statement released by the UPDF states that the gang has been terrorising the city for the last three months when an unprecedented wave of murders and robberies hit mostly areas of Kampala, Wakiso and Nansana until a joint security operation by the CMI, UPDF and ISO lead to the arrest of the five suspects.