A Catholic priest attached to Kiyinda-Mityana Diocese and six other suspects implicated in the murder of a landlord have been remanded to Luzira Prison.
The suspects; Rev Fr Lawrence Muduse, John Kulumba Senior, John Kulumba Junior, Jane Nankabirwa Kulumba, Ibrahim Muyingo, Robert Ssenyange and Fred Kayongo appeared before Mityana Grade One Magistrate Juliana Kimono on Friday.
According to court records, on August 7, 2019, the six people attacked and killed Muhammad Kamada Kimbugwe, 50 year-old resident of Minaana Village, Tamu Division, Mityana Municipality, as he moved around the village, distributing letters to tenants occupying his one-square-mile piece of land.
The deceased’s land covers four villages of Minaana, Kabule, Galabi and Kamuvole, all located in Tamu Division, Mityana Municipality.
By the time Kimbugwe was attacked, he had distributed letters to eight households in Minaana Village. Fr Muduse is particularly accused of financing assailants who murdered Kimbungwe.
The magistrate did not allow the suspects to take plea since court does not have the jurisdiction to hear their plea.
“This court had no powers to hear your plea. It is only the High Court that has powers and that is where you will be able to ask for bail if you so wish,” Ms Kemono said
Ms Kimono remanded the group until September 19 when they would reappear in court for mention of their case.
However, Rev Fr Muduse through his lawyer David Kaggwa asked the magistrate to grant him bail because he is was suffering from diabetes and would fail to get proper medical attention while in jail. The magistrate declined and said Luzira prison would be able to provide him with full treatment.
Days before the suspects appeared in court, Mityana District Woman MP Judith Nabakooba had pleaded for their release, claiming that they were innocent. Nonetheless, Police went ahead and processed the file on grounds that they had gathered enough evidence implicating them.
In August 2009, a landlord, Sam Kubo, who tried to sell his land despite protests from his tenants, was lynched and his body set ablaze in Kayonza Sub-county, Kayunga District.
In December 2015, five landlords in Kiboga District were lynched by tenants as they gathered for a meeting at the home of Kulwayo Village chairperson Sande Kiguli. The meeting was intended to introduce a new landlord whom they had sold the land to. The tenants saw the meeting as a ploy to evict them from their land.
Police identified the deceased as Bosco Mugisha, Paul Bukenya, Charles Matovu Dominic, Mugambe Asiime and Swalih Mukunya.
The angry mob also set on fire vehicles of the landlords.