Victim’s family hails Museveni for intervening in Sakwa case

Saturday May 23 2020

Charles Isanga (pictured), died after he was

Charles Isanga (pictured), died after he was allegedly beaten by RDC Eric Sakwa and his accomplices who were enforcing curfew.  

By ALEX ESAGALA

The family of Jinja businessman, Charles Isanga, who died a few days after he was allegedly beaten by a group of people led by the RDC, Eric Sakwa while enforcing curfew has hailed president Museveni for his intervention.
President Museveni recently ordered Mr Sakwa, who was charged with manslaughter, to step aside for two months, to allow proper investigations into the case that’s currently before court.
Tacked away in Lwanda Village in Namulesa Parish, Mafubira Sub County, Isanga’s father, Mr John Anthony Tidhomu, said he was grateful for Mr Museveni’s intervention and hoped justice would be served.

“I will be even more grateful if the president personally came to the scene for more evidence that his RDC was part of the criminal acts that left my,” he said before adding that they have been receiving threats from "strange people."
Mr Tidhomu also claimed that after the court case, some strangers had been sighted near his home several times with unclear motives.
In a May 10 letter to Ms Esther Mbayo, the minister for the presidency, Mr Museveni stated that he had information that Mr Sakwa is a victim of a “frame up by corrupt people in Jinja” that are fighting him “because of his good work.”
Mr Sakwa, 38, was on April 24, arrested and charged with manslaughter over the death of Charles Isanga, a businessman.

Prosecution alleges that between March 22 and April 17, Sakwa, along with Bumali Bazimbyewa, a mechanic and Mohammed Simba, a businessman, unlawfully caused the death of Isanga, a resident of Lwanda Village in Jinja.
“Mr Sakwa is accused of being present when a mwanainchi was being beaten by LDUs and that the mwanainchi later died, etc,” Museveni wrote in response to Ms Mbayo’s May 6 letter seeking guidance on how to handle the Sakwa affair.
“My information shows that Sakwa was not at the scene and that the man fell down and later died from the injuries caused by the fall.”
But the deceased’s father wants a government official to visit the scene to establish more facts.

Sakwa returned to office a week after his arrest after securing bail.
Later, Hajj Yenus Kirunda, secretary to the Office of the President, asked him to hand over to District Internal Security Officer.
But the interdiction soon grew into confusion with Sakwa insisting in various media interviews that he was still in office.
The criminal case turned political as he accused his opponents of instigating his arrest because “he has stood in their way of grabbing public land and corruption.”
Sakwa also petitioned the High Court seeking a stay of execution of Hajj Kirunda’a orders.

He got his wish.
“An interim order is hereby issued restraining the respondents (Attorney General and Hajj Kirunda) and their agents from removing Sakwa from office or interfering with his work as RDC in any way until his application his disposed of,” Jinja High Court Deputy Registrar, Mr Fred Waninda orderd on Wednesday.
Earlier on the day, Sakwa appeared before Jinja Grade I Magistrate, Ms Agnes Nabafu, but the hearing of the case failed to take off because his co-accused Bizimeya and Simba were not in court.
Sakwas lawyer, Mr Evans Ochieng said his client was still the RDC of Jinja.
“It’s only the appointing authority (President) who can remove him from office not any other person,” Mr Ochieng said.

Museveni steps in
“A Ugandan dying is very serious. It is in the interests of, first and foremost Sakwa, for facts to come out establishing the truth,” the President wrote.
He instructed investigators to establish if Sakwa was on the scene “when the LDUs were bearing a mwanainchi?”
“That would be bad enough even if the mwanainchi didn’t die,” he said. “Violence by security forces should only be used in self-defence, if a suspect is violent. Even then, it should be violence to subdue the suspect and arrest him, not anything else.
“With addition of death, it becomes very serious.”
He ordered that Sakwa steps aside for two months and cooperate with the Director of Public Prosecutions and the court systems to “get the facts and conclude the case.”
Mr Museveni said that the allegations were not mere political issues that could be resolved with dialogue but criminal in nature.
“If the accusers of Sakwa are lying, it will boomerang on them,” he said.

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