Updated by Faith Barbara Namagembe at 1816 EAT on Tuesday 7th March 2023.
The High court in Kampala has dismissed claims of coercion and torture raised by the key murder suspect, Comporiyamu Kasolo. Kasolo was earlier convicted on his own plea of guilt in the murder of social worker and businesswoman Maria Nagirinya and Ronald Kitayimbwa back in 2019.
Soon after the murder, police picked up several suspects including Raymond Marcos Okori, Isaac Ssenabulya alias Kisunsu, Hamza Kateregga alias Arsenal, John Kisekka alias Manumanu, John Lubega aka Barros, Hasan Kisekka, and Ivan Mutagubya.
On Thursday last week, the prosecution led by state attorneys Jonathan Muwaganya and Timothy Emeriti brought police detective Winfred Nakatudde as the 15th witness.
Kasolo raised a complaint telling the court that she was one of the security officers who tortured him whilst in custody and made him sign documents without consent. This halted Nakatudde’s testimony and the court called for a trial within a trial. Kasolo took to the stand, claiming that he was tortured by security officials, Nakatudde inclusive.
In his ruling Monday, justice Isaac Muwata said that Kasolo did not directly challenge the evidence against him, and it’s possible that he was actually not tortured. He ruled that Kasolo has not proven claims of torture to the standards required as required by court. Muwata added that the statement recorded from Kasolo was according to the law and procedure and shall be admitted as evidence.
Relatives of the victims broke into tears when police detective Nakatudde started reading Kasolo’s statement before court as evidence of how they killed the victims.
She stated that Kasolo got the deal of robbing Nagirinya from two men; Doleya Oteo and Yona Kabango in 2013 while he was in Luzira prisons on charges of theft. The two men told Kasolo that they have a deal they want him to participate in and it would happen as soon as he is released from prison.
She went on to tell court that the men told Kasolo of a certain woman driving a Spacio vehicle, reg no. UBA 570V and that she always moves with money ranging from Shs 40-50 million daily because she was dealing in the trade of beans from Busia and working with an organization.
Kasolo came to learn there was another inmate, Hamza Kateregga who knew about the same deal and was released from prison a week before Kasolo, who also regained his freedom in July 2019. Later, Kasolo alias Arsenal met Kateregga in Nateete and they realized that they both grew up in the same area.
Kateregga knew about Nagirinya’s area of residence and her description as told by the two men who sold them the deal in prison. Accordingly, Kasolo mobilized Rasta Manomano and Isaac Ssenabulya alias Kisunsu and a one Fred to help them work out the robbery deal.
To execute the deal, they had to have motorcycles and Manomano brought Nasif Muwonge who had one, and Mowonge also brought Shafik with another bike. The day before the kidnap, Kasolo trailed Nagirinya up to her home gate at Lungujja to confirm that she was the exact woman they wanted to rob.
The following day, Kasolo made an AK-47 toy gun and a pistol and bought two machetes from a hardware shop in Nateete which they used to kidnap the victims in Lungujja. After kidnapping Nagirinya and Kitayimbwa, Kasolo who was the driver drove around the city to find a bush where they could dump their victims.
Kasolo drove up to Lubowa on Entebbe road and failed to find any bushes to dump their victims who were by now still alive because their motive was not to kill them but to rob them of the money.
While still at it, Kasolo remembered a bush in Mukono and decided to drive them. In Mukono, remembered that Yona Kabango who gave them the deal told him that Nagirinya should not see any of their faces. When he realized that the victims had seen them, their motives changed and they decided to kill them.
Kasolo who represented himself in this case tasked detective Nakatudde to tell the court the exact date when he committed the offence. He also required to be told the exact number plate and the names of the woman they had planned to rob as stated in the statement. Hearing of the case continues today as more witnesses from the prosecution side are expected to appear.