DPC Baguma to be charged, says DPP

Kampala Central Police Station district police commander Aaron Baguma leads police officers on patrol in the city recently. PHOTO BY ABUBAKER LUBOWA

What you need to know:

Assertive. DPP says the Kampala police boss is not above the law and should face charges


The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mike Chibita yesterday assured the country that Aaron Baguma, the Kampala Central Police Station district police commander, is not above the law and will be produced in court and charged over his alleged role in the murder of a Kampala businesswoman at a car bond late last year.

Mr Baguma is accused of having gone to the car depot where he found Donah Betty Katushabe in custody of the alleged killers who were beating her.

At the scene of crime, a few metres from the Central Police Station (CPS), Katushabe is said to have pleaded with Baguma to rescue her from her tormentors but he simply shrugged her pleas off and instead asked her to pay the car owner Ssebuwufu the outstanding balance. Baguma left the scene and Katusabe was killed a few hours later.

In an interview with Daily Monitor at his office in Kampala yesterday, Mr Chibita explained that the delay to have Baguma produced before Buganda Road Chief Magistrate’s Court to be charged was caused by new information implicating more CPS police officers in the murder.

The chief government prosecutor said following the new information, his office had launched fresh investigations and Baguma and his co-accused would be taken to court.

“We have received vital clues from witnesses who had previously feared to reveal the information. The same information implicates about five more police officers who were present at CPS during the fateful day when the deceased was killed,” said Mr Chibita.

Justice Chibita’s assurance to have Baguma charged comes two months after his office issued a directive to have him jointly charged with Muhammed Ssebuwufu, the proprietor of the car bond where the businesswoman was beaten to death over the Shs9 million debt.

The charges

The DPP’s December 18 directive on Baguma reads: “The file has been perused and discussed. It’s advised that ASP Baguma Aaron be jointly charged with the current accused persons. It is further advised that the charges include an alternative count of kidnap with intent to murder.”

Baguma is accused of having gone to the scene of the crime and found Katusabe being beaten but looked away and later disappeared when the deceased pleaded with him for rescue from the people who were torturing her. It is against this background that the DPP holds Baguma criminally liable because his duty as a police officer is to protect life which the DPP maintains he deliberately refused to save when the victim appealed to him for help.

However, officials privy to the investigations say the police management is shielding Baguma from prosecution on a charge that attracts up to a death sentence upon conviction. The police management has defended Baguma on grounds that he was not involved in the murder of the woman and that he was instead a whistleblower in the case.

The original murder file has five other suspects, including Ssebuwufu, who is on remand at Luzira prison and awaits trial before the High Court. The other suspects are Paul Tasingika , Godfrey Kayiza, Phillip Mirambe and Stephen Lwanga.

Prosecution states that late last year, the accused, using sticks and a machete, beat and sliced Katusabe to death for failure to clear a Shs9m debt for the car she had bought from Ssebuwufu.