Kirumira murder suspects accuse State of torture

Some of the Kirumira murder suspects Abubakar Kalungi and Hamza Mwebe appear in court in Kampala on September 22, 2022. PHOTO/JULIET KIGONGO

What you need to know:

  • The suspects claim they were forced to admit statements by security operatives. 

Two people suspected of killing former police boss Muhammad Kirumira have accused state agents for torturing them upon arrest.

The suspects Abubakar Kalungi and Hamza Mwebe Thursday appeared at the High Court for the hearing of prosecution evidence in the murder case of ASP Kirumira together with his female friend, Resty Nalinya.

The torture accusations came up when a State witness Steven Walimba, a former assistant inspector of police attached to Jinja Road police station, presented a charge and caution statement of Kalungi as evidence in court.

Walimba told court that he extracted the statement at Kireka and witnessed him signing it before handing him over to the officers.

But the suspects through their lawyer Mr Zimbe Zefania objected tendering of the statement citing that Kalungi was forced to admit and sign.

“The accused person was threatened to be killed and was under duress to sign the statement at Mbuya not Kireka like the witness has stated,”Mr Zimbe submitted before asking court to reject the statement.

However, state prosecutor Mr Joseph Kyomuhendo asked for a trial within a trial in order to ascertain whether the confession should be admitted or not.

In her ruling, Justice Margret Mutonyi declined to withdraw Karungi's statement reasoning that defense lawyers are at liberty to cross examine the witness, Walimbwa, to ascertain the truth.

Walimba is the seventh state witness who told court that while extracting the charge and caution statement, Kalungi told him that he led the investigators to the home of one of the ADF suspects, Abdul Kateregga, at Namugoona- Luyinja whom he implicated as being the master minder of   the murder of Kirumira and Nalinya.

Court evidence shows “Kateregga was accidently shot dead by security officers after he was tracked in Namungoona (Kampala) as he tried to escape in October last year.”

Other witnesses including Bulenga driver Abdul Kigongo had earlier told court that they had just greeted the deceased who were in the car before seeing four men riding two motorcycles shooting at the pair.

Kigongo failed to identify the shooters telling court that “they were wearing hoods that covered their faces.”

Prosecution presented forensic pathologists Dr Moses Byaruhanga and Dr William Mutumba who confirmed that the duo died of gunshot wounds on the fateful day.

The trial judge adjourned the matter to September 23 for further hearing of the prosecution witnesses.

Prosecution states that on September 8, 2018 at about 8:00pm in Bulenga, Wakiso District, Kalungi and Mwebe with others still at large with malice aforethought used a gun to murder ASP Kirumira and Nalinya who were driving in a Saloon car belonging to Kirumira.  Kirumira and Nalinya were then rushed to Lubaga and Mulago hospitals respectively from where they were pronounced dead. 

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