Updated by Faith Barbara Namagembe 0937 EAT on Tuesday 21st March 2023.
A Japanese national Waada Atsushi has testified against aggravated robbery suspect Charles Olimu alias Sipapa.
In addition to the charges of robbery of up to Shs 1.6 billion and jewellery from a South Sudanese official, for which he was committed to the High court together with his wife Shamira Nakiyimba, Sipapa is also separately charged with office breaking and theft.
The prosecution alleges that on February 3, 2019, Olimu broke into New Jack Ltd offices in Kisugu, and stole eight computers, four hard discs, one electronic dictionary, five filters, an electronic book, four canon batteries, a backpack, a laptop and cash worth up to Shs 169 million.
Hearing of the case commenced last Friday at Makindye Magistrate’s court, presided over by grade one magistrate Esther Adikini. It had been postponed early this year because the first witness Waada was out of the country by then.
Waada, 50, a resident of Muyenga, who is also the proprietor of New Jack Co. Ltd. appeared as the first prosecution witness and testified about how his company offices were broken into and items stolen. He told court that on February 3, 2019, thieves broke into his company office, and stole items and hard cash. He added that he never recognized any of the suspects. However, he said that it was the police who told him that Sipapa was the person who had broken into his office and stole his property and money.
“I have never seen the accused because even in the camera footage, I only saw a tall man whose face I couldn’t recognize because the recording was in black and white. However, police in October last year, called and informed me that they had caught the suspected person who had broken into my office, and this is my first time to see him,” Waada said.
The prosecution led by Harriet Adong, alleges that Sipapa’s fingerprints are the same as those of the person who broke into Waada’s office in 2019, and this is the reason he is before the court to answer. However, during the cross-examination with defense lawyer Geoffrey Turwamusiima, Waada could not ascertain the exact amount of money that was stolen from his office as the police statement he recorded stated a different amount from the court charge sheet.
He was also put to task to explain to the court why he doesn’t think of his company employees as among the suspects who robbed the office since the safe was just opened not broken into, yet two of them had keys to this safe.
The witness also didn’t have the documentation like receipts to prove that he was the owner of the property that was stolen on that day, and court has asked him to bring them at the next sitting. The magistrate adjourned the matter to April 3 for the next hearing and decided that Waada will be on the stand to still answer other questions from the defence.