Thursday November 24 2016

Court: Sheikh Bahiga was killed for his faith, says witness



The late Sheikh Mustafa Bahiga. File photo

The late Sheikh Mustafa Bahiga. File photo 

By JULIET KIGONGO

KAMPALA.

A medical doctor who administered First Aid to the late Sheikh Mustafa Bahiga told court yesterday that the deceased intimated to him that he had been shot because of his religion.

Dr Emmanuel Muwema, attached to Namulundu Medical Centre on Entebbe Road, however, did not tell court who had shot the cleric or was behind his shooting.

“He said that he had been shot and that he was going to die for his religion,” Dr Muwema told the High Court’s International Crimes Division.

“I did not hear him say anything else since I was focused on my work. The patient did not mention anyone who shot him,” Dr Muwema testified.

Fourteen men including leader of the Tabliq Sect, Sheikh Yunus Kamoga are on trial on charges of killing top Muslim clerics like Bahiga and Sheikh Hassan Ibrahim Kirya and others on separate dates and diverse places in Kampala and Wakiso districts between 2013 and 2015.

Dr Muwema further recounted how on the fateful evening, while on duty in the Out-Patients wing, he was called by one of the nurses who wanted to alert him about a patient who had suffered gunshot wounds.

He was testifying in the trial presided over by a panel of three judges led by Ezekiel Muhanguzi.

Dr Muwema said Bahiga was shot in the chest and was dressed in a blood-stained kanzu (tunic). The witness added that Bahiga was still fully conscious and praying when he was brought to the hospital.

Dr Muwema said he called for more help and administered intravenous medication (drip) on him.

Concluding his testimony, Dr Muwema said that after administering First Aid on Bahiga, he referred him to Mulago hospital for further management, but the team that travelled with him in an ambulance called him shortly to say he had died on the way.

The state prosecutor Principal State Attorney Lino Anguzu yesterday introduced the first witnesses to testify on the murder of the second Muslim leader Sheikh Kirya who was gunned down in Bweyogerere last year.

The previous 12 witnesses testified on the shooting of Bahiga who was shot dead at Bwebajja Mosque on Entebbe Road.
John Obatia, a police officer attached to Bweyogerere Police Station, testified that he was one of the first officers to reach the scene of crime where Sheikh Kirya shot.

He said that while he took Sheikh Kirya to Mulago Hospital for treatment, he met the Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura who asked him whether the Sheikh had his body guard at the time of the shooting. Mr Obatia said he told Gen Kayihura that Sheikh Kirya had no bodyguard since he had not seen any.

Following a series of murders of top Muslim clerics, government had given Sheikh Kirya a bodyguard but on that fateful evening, Kirya who was the spokesperson of the Kibuli Muslim faction, had just dropped his escort at his home. The sheikh was all alone going for shopping when unknown assailants shot him.

During cross-examination by defence lawyer Fred Muwema, the police officer denied having recovered any money from the deceased. He said he only recovered pens, bunch of keys and phones contrary to assertions by the sheikh’s wife that her husband had money at the time he was shot.

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