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Besigye’s lawyers grill rape accuser

By Vision Reporter

Added 5th January 2006 03:00 AM

The rape trial against Dr. Col Kizza Besigye continued yesterday at the High Court before Justice John Bosco Katutsi. Joanita Kyakuwa, the accuser, was being cross-examined by Besigye’s lawyers. Anne Mugisa, Milton Olupot, Hillary Nsambu and Hillary Kiirya recorded
the proceedi

The rape trial against Dr. Col Kizza Besigye continued yesterday at the High Court before Justice John Bosco Katutsi. Joanita Kyakuwa, the accuser, was being cross-examined by Besigye’s lawyers. Anne Mugisa, Milton Olupot, Hillary Nsambu and Hillary Kiirya recorded
the proceedi

The rape trial against Dr. Col Kizza Besigye continued yesterday at the High Court before Justice John Bosco Katutsi. Joanita Kyakuwa, the accuser, was being cross-examined by Besigye’s lawyers. Anne Mugisa, Milton Olupot, Hillary Nsambu and Hillary Kiirya recorded
the proceedings.

The deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Byabakama Mugenyi, is prosecuting while Sam Njuba, John Matovu, Yusuf Nsibambi, Kiyemba Mutale and David Mpanga are defending Besigye.

Byabakama: My Lord, I appear for the State and the defence is led by my learned friend Sam Njuba. This matter is for further hearing. The witness is for cross-examination.

Njuba: My lord, I am sorry to keep.. But we are having a lot of problems. This is supposed to be an open court, but we have problems as lawyers and the public because we are blocked. I am sure if we carried out a census here, it would reveal that there are lawyers and CMI operatives. We have parked far off and had to walk her.

Katutsi: What do you want me to do? I don’t know who is a security operative or attendant here. I only see faces in front of me. Please, spare me the….

Matovu: (starts cross examining Kyakuwa, the woman accusing Besigye of raping her in 1997) Have you been told that you must speak the truth?

Kyakuwa: yes, sir.

Matovu: Do you know the consequences of telling lies in the court of law?

Kyakuwa: I didn’t hear that, sir

Matovu: (repeats question)

Kyakuwa: Yes, I know.

Matovu: Do you know it is an offence?

Kyakuwa: Yes, I know

Matovu: Is there anything you think you said that you want to change?

Kyakuwa: No, sir.

Matovu: You are sure?

Kyakuwa: Yes, sir.

Katutsi: When you say sir, you are addressing him (points at Matovu).

Byabakama: She didn’t know (tells her to address the judge as My Lord).

Matovu: You made a statement to Police?

Kyakuwa: In June 2001.

Matovu: Did you make any other statement apart from that one?

Kyakuwa: No, my Lord.

Matovu: Is this the statement you made?

Kyakuwa: (looks at it) Yes, My Lord.

Matovu: Is that your handwriting?

Kyakuwa: Yes, my lord.

Matovu: What is the date?

Kyakuwa: July 5, 2001.

Matovu: Where did you make it from?

Kyakuwa: I made it when I was in Entebbe.

Matovu: Not at Entebbe Police Station?

Kyakuwa: No, My Lord.

Matovu: Was it at the State House?

Kyakuwa: In Entebbe where I stay.

Matovu: Where is that?

Kyakuwa: I stay at Nsamizi.

Matovu: Do you know that State house is in Nsamizi?

Kyakuwa: Yes, I know.

Matovu: So it was at State house?

Kyakuwa: Yes, my lord that is where I stay.

Matovu: In State house?

Kyakuwa: Yes.

Matovu: So it was brought to you to make a statement. Did you have a police officer?

Kyakuwa: Yes.

Matovu: Who is the officer?

Kyakuwa: She was called Detective Florence. I can’t remember the other name.

Matovu: Here at Nsamizi State House where you stay, can you freely access your visitors?

Kyakuwa: Yes, if I want to see them.

Matovu: And those who want to see you?

Kyakuwa: If I don’t want to see somebody, then I don’t want.

Matovu: Are you under protection by the presidential guard?

Kyakuwa: Yes.

Matovu: Are you a relative of the family of President Museveni?

Kyakuwa: No, My Lord.

Matovu: You are not employed in State House, are you?

Kyakuwa: No, My Lord.

Matovu: You said the statement was brought by Pte. Florence…

Kyakuwa: The statement was not brought to me. I made it myself.

Matovu: You never visited the Police Station?

Kyakuwa: I did. I visited CID headquarters.

Matovu: When was that?
Kyakuwa: Before I made the statement.

Matovu: When?

Kyakuwa: That must have been on the 4th (May 2001) because it was a day before the statement.

Matovu: So the CID came to you?
Kyakuwa: Yes.

Matovu: You say you never made a complaint to the Police before…
Kyakuwa: I complained to…

Matovu: Answer the question. Prior to that, had you ever complained at the Police station.

Kyakuwa: No.

Matovu: In that statement on page 10, you said you approached government people in order to bring Dr. Besigye to book for his crime.

Kyakuwa: (reads)

Matovu: (reads it out ) “Since government is there to protect people like me…” Who are these government people?

Kyakuwa: Musinguzi, a friend of mine advised me. I asked him who can help me and he said he would try for me. A week later, he made an appointment for me with President Museveni.

Matovu: So you met the President at short notice?

Kyakuwa: Yes.

Matovu: He is the first person you reported the case to?

Kyakuwa: I didn’t go to report the case. I went to seek protection and help

Matovu: Were you feeling insecure?

Kyakuwa: Yes, I was scared because there was an attempt on my life…

Matovu: But you said…

Kyakuwa: I wanted to be safe first then go to Police. I went to seek protection and help.

Matovu: What help?

Kyakuwa: Medical help?

Matovu: And tuition?

Kyakuwa: No, medication, maintenance and protection.

Matovu: So, you started receiving maintenance, protection and accommodation from the President?

Kyakuwa: Yes.

Matovu: And to this date, he is maintaining you at State House at the expense of the State?

Kyakuwa: My Lord…

Matovu: That is a yes or no.

Kyakuwa: Yes.

Matovu: You have a child called Bashiba?

Kyakuwa: Yes.

Matovu: She is also maintained together with you? (before she could answer, he asks again) By the time you made the statement, the events were fresh in your mind?

Kyakuwa: Yes. They are still fresh.
Matovu: Vividly?

Kyakuwa: As vividly as they could be. I remember the events that took place…

Matovu: In this statement, you said you were 22 years.

Kyakuwa: It could have been a slip… I can’t say why I wrote that then, but I am 28 now.

Matovu: So by July 5th, 2001, you were 22 years old.
Kyakuwa: I was.

Matovu: It is four years ago since you last stated….
Kyakuwa: Yes.

Matovu: In mathematics, it adds up to 26 years.

Kyakuwa: Yes.

Matovu: You insist you were born in 1997?

Kyakuwa: Yes, in December.
Matovu: I want you to tell court, either you were lying on July 5, 2001 or you lied on Monday or you are lying now.

Kyakuwa: I was born in 1977 on December 23.

Matovu: If that is your age, do you realise that you backdated the statement. So you lied when you were making the statement.

Kyakuwa: I might have been bad at mathematics, but I can’t say I lied.

Matovu: You backdated it then?

Kyakuwa: I accept, I might have made a mistake, but I didn’t lie.

Matovu: Now this house in Luzira, do you remember it well.

Kyakuwa: Yes, I do.

Matovu: Was it a double-storey house?

Kyakuwa: Yes.

Matovu: There was a room downstairs?

Kyakuwa: there were two rooms downstairs.

Matovu: You stayed in one of them?

Kyakuwa: Yes.

Matovu: How about Aisha?

Kyakuwa: She stayed in the other room.

Matovu: At that time, the accused was in active service in the army and had bodyguards?

Kyakuwa: Yes.

Matovu: How many?

Kyakuwa: I don’t know how many, but they were there.

Matovu: The house had a uniport?
Kyakuwa: Yes.

Matovu: Was it close to the house?

Kyakuwa: Yes.

Matovu: This place was a quiet place?

Kyakuwa: Yes.

Matovu: Both at night and during the day?

Kyakuwa: Yes.
Matovu: (questions her about the distance between the rooms and Kyakuwa says the TV room where Besigye allegedly carried her from and the kitchen were separated by a four-meter corridor. She says the corridor leading to the TV room was separated from the kitchen by a door and that if it was closed one couldn’t hear a shout from within). So the guest room and the master bedroom are on the same side?

Kyakuwa: Yes.

Matovu: Was the master bedroom always locked when the couple were away?

Kyakuwa: I don’t know.

Matovu: Was the guest room open?

Kyakuwa: Yes.

Matovu: You were living in it?

Kyakuwa: No, we used to iron from there.

Matovu: Was it open?

Kyakuwa: It had a door but it was not locked.

Matovu: Did the TV room have furniture?

Kyakuwa: Yes.

Matovu: A sofa set?

Kyakuwa: one sofa, a desk with a computer, then a TV stand.

Matovu: So, you had a chair big enough for sitting or sleeping position?

Kyakuwa: Yes.

Matovu: The room had a door?

Kyakuwa: Yes.

Matovu: Next to the guestroom?

Kyakuwa: Yes.

Matovu: It had a key?

Kyakuwa: I never saw it locked, but I guess it had a key.

Matovu: It was your testimony that on that day, the accused found you sitting in the TV room?

Kyakuwa: yes.

Matovu: That you were wearing short jean shorts.

Kyakuwa: No, they were not short

Matovu: Tight jeans

Kyakuwa: They were loose.

Matovu: With buttons?

Kyakuwa: One button and a zip.

Matovu: How long were the shorts? Were they close to the bums or the knees?

Kyakuwa: (says they were neither close to the bums nor the knees. She moves from the witness box to show court the length. She says they were loose, not tight. And that she had knickers which Besigye tore off after peeling off her shorts.
She says she screamed but Besigye roughly told her to stop. She says she could not scream the way she was during the rape because then she was being threatened. When Matovu asks her why she is smiling as she testifies, she says she is trying to calm herself.
Asked as why she did not say in her statement to the Police that she screamed, she says now that she is being questioned, she is giving details. Lawyer asks her why she is still laughing and she asks him if he wants to see her dying. She demonstrates to court how Besigye pinned her down as he removed her shorts, pants and lowered his trousers.
Matovu asks her why she allowed Besigye to pick her from the hostel the next weekend when she said she felt betrayed by him. She says there were children at home and nothing happened and that during the next weekend, they had an accident as they drove to Bombo. She also says they had sex every weekend)

Matovu: You did not leave the Luzira house, you were thrown out by Winnie Byanyima.

Kyakuwa: No, my aunt advised me to leave… Winnie’s attitude had changed.

Matovu: You avoided the house because Winnie was there… you felt safer with the accused. You trusted him.

Kyakuwa: It had nothing to do with trust. I had a problem and he was to solve it.

Matovu: The same accused called you to Bombo and took you around the house. The two of you?

Kyakuwa: There was Aisha.

Matovu: Did you ever report this rape to Winnie?

Kyakuwa: No. (says she did not tell her aunt either, her friends in the hostel or even report to the Police)

Matovu: (tells her that she was a girlfiend to Khalid, the owner of Earthquake Discotheque in Kabale and owner of Horizon coaches, but she denies and says he was a boyfriend to her friend called Peace. Matovu also tells her that she had an affair with one Lt. Matsiko, an LDU in Kabale, and that Matsiko’s wife attacked her over him, but she denies knowledge of the two.
Matovu tells her that she had mental problems and even broke windows at the hostel before she was taken to Mulago. She says she had emotional problems but does not recollect breaking windows. She says, however, that she was admitted in different hospitals including Mulago, Mengo and Rubaga over the same problems. As to why she did not write about the Bombo rape, she says she wrote what she could remember then.)

Matovu: You are telling this court a pack of lies… The only reason you included Bombo in your oral testimony is because your story of abortion does not add up. It didn’t exist.

Kyakuwa: It did. (Matovu asks her what the doctor who carried out the abortion said or if he gave her any chit and she answers that he did and that she saw him twice after the abortion) I gave the chit to him (pointing to Besigye)

Matovu: You did not abort.

Kyakuwa: Yes, I did and that is where my problems started and I went for counselling. I got confused.

Matovu: Who is Bashiba’s father?
Kyakuwa: I request to leave the names out.

Matovu: What is his name?

Kyakuwa: Nick Wavamunno.

Matovu: I want to tell you that it is because of your bread and accommodation that you have come to pin down a man…. For your upkeep from the coffers of the State House.

Kyakuwa: How can I come here to strip myself naked because of food from government? How? How? How?

Matovu: your motivation is just to earn your bread and butter, which is beyond daily food.

Kyakuwa: I came to this court because I couldn’t take it any more. I was going down the drain. I came to show that these things don’t happen on streets but even in decent homes they happen.
Court adjourns for 30 minutes. It resumes for Byabakama to clarify on issues that came up during cross-examination.

Byabakama: You told court that you felt insecure and wented help. What made you feel threatened?

Kyakuwa: Besigye.

Byabakama: Why?

Kyakuwa: When I went to him after the newspapers article that was published in the Uganda Confidential…. (one of the lawyers David Mpanga rises up objecting to the evidence that Byabakama was leading the witness to and the judge concurs with him.

Byabakama tries to explain that the defence had raised the issue but is overruled

Byabakama: Okay, I am asking what prompted her to go to the president.

Kyakuwa: After I explained the outcome of the newspaper article…..

Judge: the question is who threatened you?

Kyakuwa: Dr. Besigye.
Byabakama: What did he say to you?

Kyakuwa: when I asked him what to do, he told me if I did tell anybody about the incident, I would see what would happen to me.

Byabakama: What problem did you present to the President?
Kyakuwa: I told him that my life was threatened and sickly.

Byabakama: What did he do for you?

Kyakuwa: He said he would…(Mpanga interjects and says the testimony was not relevant and had not been raised during cross-examination)

Byabakama: Okay. You said you went to CID headquarters before the statement was recorded. Why didn’t you record the statement on that day?

Kyakuwa: I was not feeling well. I was sick.

Byabakama: You told court that you were not mentally okay?

Kyakuwa: Yes.

Byabakama: In what state were you in comparison to now?

Kyakuwa: I am now better.

Byabakama: Was the police guiding you in any questions while writing the statement?

Kyakuwa: No.

Byabakama: It is being insinuated by my learned friend that because you are being accommodated at State House, that is why you are saying this against Besigye. What do you say?

Kyakuwa: No.

Byabakama: You told court that Besigye assisted you in several ways. Do you regard the assistance significant? (Mpanga objects to the question but is overruled by the judge)

Kyakuwa: Yes.

Byabakama: In the self-recorded police statement, you said you were 22 years. Were you telling lies?

Kyakuwa: I think I miscalculated.

Byabakama: In the TV room, you said you were watching TV. Was it emitting sound?
Kyakuwa: Yes.

Byabakama: Without the microphone, can you repeat how you shouted? (Kyakuwa shouts softly. Judge says he understands that as not shouting)

Kyakuwa: I do not know what to do but I shouted to my best.

Byabakama: Can you tell court who was bigger and stronger than the other.

Matovu: My Lord, I wonder who measures the strength, physically or ….

Byabakama: Who was stronger?

Kyakuwa: Besigye was stronger than me.

Byabakama: You said after the act, you remained behind waiting for him.

Kyakuwa: I was just there helpless trying to figure out what to do next.

Byabakama: You pointed out that you could not remember whether he reached climax. How could you remember on Monday?

Kyakuwa: Because of the questions put to me. They guided me.

Byabakama: You said you felt betrayed by Besigye. Explain why you went to him after the incident?
Kyakuwa: Since he is a doctor, that is why I went to him knowing he would be the one to help me. (Matovu protests that the question is leading witness not clarifying anything)

Byabakama: You said Dr. Besigye was assisting you in various ways and you took him as a father. How was the relationship?

Kyakuwa: Since I had talked to my aunt about what was going on, I had to go back to Besigye for assistance.

Byabakama: You said you continued to go to the Luzira home. How would you go there?

Kyakuwa: I was at times picked.

Byabakama: Can you explain why you continued going to Luzira and not your uncle’s place?

Kyakuwa: My uncle was staying in Kampala at that time but since I had been handed over to Besigye, it would need explanation.

Byabakama: You did not disclose the incident to your aunt, Winnie, why?

Kyakuwa: Besigye had warned me not to do it.

Byabakama: When Winnie’s attitude towards you changed, did you require Dr. Besigye’s help?

Kyakuwa: Yes.

Byabakama: You also told court that the door to the guest room was closed when Besigye raped you.

Kyakuwa: Yes.

Byabakama: You are in the guest room and the door is closed, could someone in the kitchen (Matovu protests the question).

Byabakama: Is one able to hear you make noise…?

Judge: That question has been answered over and over.

Byabakama: If it is well on record, then I leave the question. How many walls are between the guest room and kitchen?

Kyakuwa: Two walls.

Byabakama: On the day of the accident, did you know you were going to Bombo with Besigye?

Kyakuwa: No.

Byabakama: In how many hospitals were you admitted while you were mentally ill?

Kyakuwa: Joda Clinic, Mengo and Lubaga.

Byabakama: Finally, Joanita are you giving evidence against Besigye to protect your bread and butter as stated by my learned friend?

Kyakuwa: No.

Byabakama: That is all, my Lord. I have other witnesses to call but I am on medication for malaria and would like to seek an adjournment.
Judge: Can you tell us how many witnesses you intend to call? Byabakama comically counts his fingers and finally says five. Case adjourned to Friday.

Besigye’s lawyers grill rape accuser

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