Suspect in Nagirinya murder case declines to defend self

Sharif Mpanga one of the suspects accused of murdering social worker Maria Nagirinya in the dock on June 7, 2023. PHOTO | JULIET KIGONGO

One of the suspects in the murder case of former social worker Maria Nagirinya on Wednesday declined to defend himself on charges against him.
Hassan Kiseka alias Masadda, a boda boda rider opted to keep quiet without giving any reason to his decision which the court allowed because it is his right and the judgment will be based on the evidence by the state.
Another suspect Sharif Mpanga also asked court to relocate from Luzira to another prison facility after he expressed fear that his life was in danger just like his two co-accused Nasif Kalyango alias Muwonge and Kiseka who were earlier transferred to Kigo Prison.
The three boda boda riders expressed fears that their lives were in danger following threats from the key suspect Coporiyamu Kasolo alias Arsenal and Johnson Lubega alias Manomano in case they testified against them.
While defending himself, Mpanga told the presiding judge Isaac Muwata that indeed he rode his co-accused Kasolo and Lubega just like any other passengers on the fateful day to areas of Kalerwe and Lungujja although he did not know what they were going to do.
Mpanga also disowned his own police statement reasoning that most of the content in it was false as police forced him to say what he did not know.
“The police officers at Katwe Police Station coached me on what to say and if I did not admit to knowing Kasolo I would be taken back to the unknown place where I had been kept for over a month while torturing me,” Mpanga said.
When asked why he had abandoned the motorcycle in his house, Mpanga said it was not true but he had gone to collect funds for his sick child who was in the village from his brother in Ggaba.
Mpanga who notified the court that he was a senior one drop out threw the court into laughter when he began exchanging with the state attorney who threw questions at him.
He had earlier narrated that one of the suspects whom he did not know by then called him after explaining that he had dropped them off at Lugujja earlier and wanted to proceed to Namanve at only twenty thousand which he accepted although he did not know the place well.
Prosecution led by Mr Jonathan Muwaganya was surprised why someone would risk moving at night with strangers for over 20 kilometers for only Shs 20,000.
“My lord haven’t you ever made a loss in your life? I am a boda boda rider who goes out to any client- when I was stopped while still at Bweyogerere I knew that is a loss which always happens to us. People can refuse to pay you,” Mpanga angrily replied.  
The case has been adjourned to June 12 for further defence for the last suspect Sadat Kateregga to testify.
The suspects are accused of six counts of murder, kidnap and aggravated robbery of Nagirinya and her driver Ronald Kitayibwa in August 2019.
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