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Magara tried over killing FDC men

By Vision Reporter

Added 19th May 2009 03:00 AM

THE trial of Ramathan Magara for allegedly killing two people in 2006 when he fired at a crowd of the Forum for Democratic Change party supporters, started yesterday with three witnesses giving their testimonies.

THE trial of Ramathan Magara for allegedly killing two people in 2006 when he fired at a crowd of the Forum for Democratic Change party supporters, started yesterday with three witnesses giving their testimonies.

By Charles Ariko

THE trial of Ramathan Magara for allegedly killing two people in 2006 when he fired at a crowd of the Forum for Democratic Change party supporters, started yesterday with three witnesses giving their testimonies.

Magara, a special Police constable, faces two charges of murder and one of attempted murder.

He allegedly murdered Gideon Makabayi and Vincent Kavuma when he shot them at the Bulange, the seat of the Buganda Kingdom.

Magara allegedly attempted to murder Haruna Byamukama on the same day and place, a witness said. Magara denied the charges.

Robinah Kirinya, a government analyst based in Wandegeya, Kampala, said she tested the gun that Magara allegedly used in the murder.

“I found the rifle to be an AK47 of folding model,” Kirinya said. “It is serial number is 56-131006840. The weapon was test-fired and found capable of firing.”

Kirinya, however, said she was unable to prove whether the spent cartridges were fired from the same gun because of lack of facilities at the lab.

But when cross examined by Macdusman Kabega, Magara’s lawyer, Kirinya gave two different serial numbers for the same gun. In one document, the serial number is listed as 56-131006840 and as 56-131006480 in another.

The second witness, Lt. Patrick Nyakairu, of the military Police headquarters in Makindye, said he heard of the shooting at the Central Police Station Kampala where he had been deployed.

He rushed to the scene and found rioters stoning the offices of the resident district commissioner (RDC), demanding Magara who had taken refuge there.

As he walked towards the RDC’s office, a man carrying a gun and in civilian clothes emerged from the building. He disarmed and handed him to the Police.
Nyakairu, however, said he could not say if Magara was the man. “I don’t know that man in the dock,” he said when asked if he knew the accused.

Byamukama, now in a wheel-chair, said he was shot by Magara. Magara, he argued, jumped out of a salon car and fired at the crowd waiting for FDC chief Col. Kizza Besigye to drive out of Bulange. Besigye had been meeting Buganda officials to drum up support for his presidential campaign.

“I was from Owino Market when I heard that Besigye was going to Bulange. I also went there because I had never seen him,” Byamukama said.

When he arrived, Byamukama recalled, Magara and other people came in a car.
“I saw him get out of the car and start shooting. I ran but fell down. When I tried to get up, I realised my arm was broken. I was helpless. My legs felt paralysed. I realised I had been shot. People were running away and jumping over me,” Byamukama narrated, occasionally stopping to wipe away tears.

Byamukama was rushed to Mengo Hospital and transferred to Mulago where he spent nine months on treatment, he said.

Byamukama narrated that although he had never met Magara before, he remembered him vividly because he was about eight metres away from him when he shot at the crowd.
“I heard everybody say: ‘Magara has killed people’, before I was taken to hospital.”

Magara tried over killing FDC men

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