Court asked to drop charges against Gen. Katumba’ attempted Murder suspects

Security forces and forensic experts secure the scene of an attempted assassination on Ugandan minister of works and transport General Katumba Wamala in the suburb of Kiasasi within Kampala, Uganda June 1, 2021. REUTERS/Abubaker Lubowa - RC2LRN9FV72M

By URN

The lawyer of the eight suspects charged with the attempted murder of Gen. Edward Katumba Wamala has asked the state to drop the charges against his clients, saying that they are not responsible for the crime they are facing.

 The suspects are Sheikh Yusuf Siraji Nyanzi, Hussein Sserubula, Muhammad Kagugube, Kamada Walusimbi, Siriman Ayuub Kisambira, Abdulaziz Ramathan Dunku, Habib Ramanthan Marjan and Huzaifah Wampa. 

The eight are accused of spraying the vehicle of Gen. Katumba, which claimed the lives of his daughter, Brenda Nantongo and the driver, Sergeant Haruna Kayondo on June 1st, 2021 along Kisoota road in Kisaasi
Gen. Katumba escaped with bullets wounds from the attack.

 Police swung into action, picked the eight suspects, and arraigned them in court on two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder. 
On Tuesday, the suspect’s lawyer Hamza Ssekidde asked the prosecution led by State Attorney Rose Aoja to clean her hands and drop the charges against his clients, saying they didn’t commit the crime for which they are being held.    
This came after Aoja asked the Nakawa Grade 1 Magistrate, Posiono Odwori for an adjournment because investigations are still ongoing. Ssekidde objected to the prayers, saying that is now three months since his clients were arrested and arraigned in court. 
He said that the continued remand of the suspects in a matter of public interest with endless investigations is a violation of their rights and causing pain to their families.  
He also argued that given the profile of Gen. Katumba, the suspects are accused of trying to kill, the state can do whatever it takes in the shortest time possible to conclude the matter since the suspects can also pose a threat to the country’s security. 
Ssekidde asked the State Attorney to advise the court to drop the matter for failure to get evidence implicating his clients.  

The presiding magistrate Posiono Odwori didn’t respond to the prayers by the accused’s lawyer and adjourned the matter to September 14th, 2021. 

Unlike the last two court appearances, Huzaifah Wampa appeared via video link from Kigo main prison. 
He told URN that prison authorities blamed his failure to appear in court on two separate occasions on connectivity challenges at Kigo prison. 

 Ssekidde said they have no problem with Wampa being separated from his co-accused who are detained at Luzira Upper Prison, saying that both Kigo and Luzira are gazetted detention facilitates.
He also revealed that they are yet to access their clients despite writing to the prison authorities as advised by the court.

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