What you need to know:
- Mr Taremwa and Brig Karara want Ms Naome Katafire, identified as a childhood friend of Molly and her current caretaker at hospital, questioned alongside housemaid Evelyn Nantume and house-help George Amanyire.
Two relatives of Henry Katanga, a notable citizen who died of gunshot wounds in questionable circumstances on November 2, have asked for an inquest into his demise.
In an application filed at the Civil Division of the High Court in Kampala on November 16, the deceased’s uncle, Brig Freddie Karara Machwa, and brother-in-law, Mr Barnabas Taremwa, raised more than half-a-dozen grounds.
They said the claim that Katanga committed suicide, a narrative in the court filing linked to relatives of the widow, was suspect because the deceased was right-handed yet he took the killer bullet to his left ear.
This, the duo argues, shows some other person(s), whose identity they argue an inquest will reveal, killed their loved one.
READ : Mbuya bedroom death puzzles UPDF generals
Katanga was reportedly found dead in his bedroom and his wife, Molly, was immediately whisked away and reportedly admitted at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) to International Hospital (IHK), where she remains to-date.
The applicants aver that they hoped ongoing police investigations and natural justice would unearth facts of what they believed was the murder of Katanga, but they have chosen an alternative route due to the “opaqueness” surrounding the matter.
However, the fight for the truth on what exactly happened on November 2, leading to Katanga’s sudden demise, has revealed the layering of state and military power on the sides of both the deceased and the widow.
For a start, Mr Taremwa, of the two applicants, is a brother of Jovia, the wife of Gen Salim Saleh, the brother of the President. Machwa, the second petitioner, on the other is a one-star general of Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF).
The pedigree of the individuals that the duo wants summoned as witnesses at the inquest they are seeking, reveals the web of family relations of the high and mighty and their blend into State power.
Among those named in the application as material to an inquest include Maj Gen Geoffrey Katsigazi, a relative of late Katanga and current deputy inspector general of police; Brig Gen Charity Bainababo, the deputy commander of the Special Forces Command (SFC) and the deceased’s cousin; and, Maj Gen Sam Kavuma, the deputy national coordinator of Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) and former Aide-de-Camp to President Museveni.
The deceased was a sibling to late Capt Arthur Kasasira, who was bodyguard to Museveni as early as the National Resistance Army (NRA’s) five-year guerrilla war.
Another senior military commander who Mr Taremwa and Brig Karara want to appear before an inquest, if authorised, is Lt Gen James Mugira, the current managing director of UPDF’s business arm, the National Enterprise Corporation (NEC).
He previously served as the Chief of Military Intelligence, the army’s investigative and intelligence arm. Lt Gen Mugira is named in court papers as late Katanga’s cousin.
Also listed as useful to the intended inquiries are Col Naboth Mwesigwa, aka Rwabwera, the director of Protocol in UPDF and Ministry of Defence as well as the widow, Molly, reported to be a Defence ministry contractor.
The applicants want State Minister for Animal Industry, Maj Bright Rwamirama, an uncle of the deceased, as well as Mr Geoffrey Kamuntu, a cousin of the widow, summoned to provide information during the inquest.
Mr Kamuntu is a former son-in-law to the President.
An inquest is a formal public judicial inquiry, different from a trial, whose main purpose is to establish the accurate facts about how a deceased person met their death.
Maj Gen (rtd) Emmanuel Burundi, a cousin of the widow and their neighbour in Mbuya, is also named in the application as a useful witness at the intended inquiries.
Mr Taremwa and Brig Karara want Ms Naome Katafire, identified as a childhood friend of Molly and her current caretaker at hospital, questioned alongside housemaid Evelyn Nantume and house-help George Amanyire.
The applicants aver that they believe the last two individuals likely knew firsthand what transpired in the final moments before Katanga met his “gruesome, violent” death, and they have questioned their silence.
According to the filings in court, Ms Martha Katanga’s action of reportedly conducting substantial financial transaction at a bank when her dad’s body was lying in the house, was unusual.
The applicants hope the last two individuals knew firsthand what transpired in the final moments before Katanga met his death, and they have questioned their silence.
We were unable to speak to the listed individuals for this story, but if the prayer for an inquest is granted, each will likely take the stand to explain to the judicial inquiry what they know or do not know regarding Katanga’s death. There is at present no evidence of wrongdoing by the named individuals.
Others the applicants want interviewed are Lt Col Albert Kashakamba and Lt Col Benon Muhinda, alias Biteeya, both cousins of the deceased, as well as three doctors and a police officer, either for their role in “managing” the scene of crime, co-conducting autopsy or being first responders.
Mr Taremwa and Brig Karara aver in their application that it was questionable why Katanga’s 12-year-old son, whom they believe witnessed the last moments before the fatal end to his father’s life, was promptly moved by unknown persons to an unknown location --- making him to miss both the vigils and burial of his dad.
“[In the] moments preceding the gruesome death of Henry Katanga, opaque developments presented themselves; … power allegedly went off, Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras serving the deceased’s home and watching over the environment were tampered with and the overall pretext remains unknown,” the applicants noted of anomalies they said only an inquest can unravel.
They are represented by lawyers Frank Kanduho and Paul Kuteesa of Kanduho & Co. Advocates and Arcadia Advocates. The lawyers said their clients will rely on the affidavit of a one Noami Kashashani, the deceased’s sister.
About an inquest
An inquest is a public judicial inquiry and is to find answers to key questions such as who a deceased person was, when and where they died from, the medical cause of their death and or how they met their demise.
An inquest is not a trial but rather a fact finding process.
It does not deal with issues of blame or responsibility for the death, or with issues of criminal or civil liability.
Many families prefer inquests because the process allows questions to be asked and to have full facts at its conclusion.