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KATUSHABE MURDER CASE: Drama At Court, Ssebuufu Co-Accused Furious With Him, Why Are You Playing Delaying Tactics While We Are Rotting In Luzira Cells

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Kampala High Court Criminal Division experienced unpaid drama when Shaban Oddutu alias Golola cut wires inside the court room over the frequent adjournment and tactics to delay the ruling of the murder case where he is charged with his boss pine car bond tycoon Muhammad Ssebuufu and seven others.

Golola, a former body guard to Ssebuufu, is charged with mercilessly aiding the killing city businesswoman Donah Katushabe at pine car bond along Lumumba Avenue in Kampala.

While at court, Golola started by furiously pointing fingers to his former boss Ssebuufu and his lawyers for playing delaying tactics while he is rotting in Luzira Maximum prison.

“This is too much, we are tired of these delaying tactics, we have families also like you and lovers, but why you do this to us? You’re doing these things because you are out of prison. We deserve justice also,” Golola was heard complaining.

When he started raising his voice, prison officers immediately swung into action and put him on handcuffs, they ordered him to sit down but he kept on complaining to his boss who is out of prison on bail.

His friend Yoweri Kitayimbwa who is also still in Luzira wondered why Ssebuufu and his lawyers led by Evans Ochange and Robert Irumba pray for adjournments even when the matter they are laying on is not crucial.

Ssebuufu who first ignored them later came close to them and started pleading with them to calm down. He assured them that their lawyers were handling the matter sensitively. “It’s not us who don’t want to proceed with the case, I’m also tired of coming here always, cool down,” Ssebuufu pleaded with Golola.

When he realized that the press was picking interest in what was going on, he resorted to whispering into his ear.

Other Co-accused like Phillip Mirambe, Tasingika  and others joined Ssebuufu and pleaded with Golola and Kitayimbwa. Before Golola’s hostility, the presiding judge Flavia Senoga was the first to turn tables on Ssebuufu’s lawyers who were not obliging with her orders.

The judge told Ochange  and Irumba who were preparing to submit their defense  that they should remember that they agreed during the last hearing that they will file their defense for the accused person number one. The judge said that both lawyers from the prosecution and the defense agreed that this will help her to record properly the evidence.

This means that Ochange was supposed to submit Ssebuufu’s defense since he is the accused person number one on the charge sheet. “But counsel, I’m tired of you people, I don’t know what you are after, we agreed the other time that you start your defense with the first accused person up to the last, why do you now want to change it. I am not going to change my record if you don’t want to proceed tell me and I adjourn this matter, I’m tired of you please,” a furious Ssenoga noted.

Ssenoga lost her calmness and ordered her clerk to ring the bell, she later walked out of the court in anger.

State prosecutors also showed their dissatisfaction at Ochange’s action of delaying the trial. Ojok asked Ochange and Irumba to follow him to judge Ssenoga’s chambers so that they can plead with her.

When they come back, they told journalist that they have agreed to give the defense lawyers more time to prepare their defense because it seems they were not prepared.

Ojok said that the case was adjourned to 4th December 2018.  This was not the first time that prosecution, witnesses, court attenders and the judge were complaining about Ssebuufu’s lawyer’s actions of playing delaying tactics, one time the judge threatened to quit the case over the same games played by Ssebuufu’s lawyer.

The state alleges that in 2015, Ssebuufu and his co-accused murdered Betty Katushabe at Pine car bond after kidnapping her from her home in Bwebajja Wakiso for failing to pay Ssebuufu a balance of Shs 9 million on the Toyota Premio vehicle she purchased from his pine car bond.

 

By Jamil Lutakome

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CRIME

Jailed Tycoon Sebuufu To File Notice Of Appeal Against 90 Years Sentence For The Murder Of Katushabe

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Jailed pine car bond tycoon Muhammad Sebuufu has filed a notice of appeal in the court of appeal Kampala challenging his conviction.

Yesterday, High Court judge Anglin Senoga sentenced Sebuufu to 90 years in prison for murder, kidnap with intention to murder and aggravated robbery. When the Grapevine spoke to Sebuufu’s lawyer Evans Ocheng this afternoon, he said, “we have instructions to file a notice to appeal against the High Court judgement delivered by her lordship Anglin Senoga against our client.”

He said that after critically studying the judgement, they will file their full appeal because they received the judgement very later and they have not yet received the stamped record of proceedings of the case. However, Ocheng cited that the judgement was made based on hearsay and without critical evidence like the killer weapon which was used to murder late Betty Donah Katushabe.

Ocheng insisted that his client was not placed on the scene of crime but the judge only based her judgement on communication between the convicts. Ocheng adds that they are also challenging the shs100m awarded to Katushabe family because there was no prayer from the prosecution that the summation of the money lost after the death of Katushabe was totaling to 100 million. During the litigation process, defense lawyer Caleb Alaka expressed argued that the prayers made by the prosecution were emotional not legally.

Sebuufu was sentenced to 40 years on murder, 30 years on aggravated robbery and 20 years on kidnap with intention to murder. Katushabe was violently murdered in 2015 for allegedly failing to pay a balance of shs9m on the purchase of a Toyota Premio car from Sebuufu’s pine car bond.

By Jamil Lutakome

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GUILTY AS CHARGED: You Kidnapped And Killed Her – Court Finally Convicts Pine Car Bond Businessman Sebuufu On Katushabe’s Murder

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It was tears and jubilation as pine car bond businessman Muhammad Sebuufu and seven others were convicted on the murder of businesswoman Donna Betty Katushabe, a former Centenary bank employee. 

“I found out that state has proved beyond reasonable doubt all the ingredients in the three counts of murder, kidnap with intention to murder and armed robbery which were charged against Muhammad Ssebuufu, Phillip Mirambe, Steven Lwanga, Shaban Odutu, Paul Tasingika,  Dameseni Ssentongo, Godfrey Kayinza  and I  convict them,” High Court Judge Flavia Anglin Senoga said. She said that the prosecution team led by senior state prosecutor Michael Ojok  and Winfred Ahimbisibwe placed Sebuufu and his co-accussed on the scene of crime at pine car bond in Kampala where the deceased was tortured from and later died at the entrance of  Kampala central police station.

The late Katushabe’s lawyer Annet Kyomugisha (2nd R)

The judge refuted the alibis which Sebuufu based on to defend himself that on the day Katushabe was tortured, he was at Mwanga 2 court in Mengo not at pine as the state witnesses testified. The judge stated that the convict had malice forethought to murder the deceased because after planning the move to kidnap her from her home in Bwebajja on Entebbe road instead of driving her to Kampala central police station. The soft-spoken judge said that the act of taking Katushabe to pine car bond showed that the suspects wanted to negotiate with her on how to pay the remaining shs9m on the purchased Toyota Premio from pine car bond. 

She based her judgment on the postmortem report which indicated that Katushabe was first tortured before she died. The learned judge wondered why the convicts instead of torturing the deceased didn’t file a civil suit so that their balance is paid through civil courts. She noted that the suspect participated in committing the crime according to the testimony of Peter Tumusiime, a lawyer who was sent to pine to rescue Katushabe from Sebuufu’s hands.

Tumusiime told court that he saw with his necked eye Sebuufu and Odutu undressing and beating up the deceased while squeezing her breasts and private parts. The judge further pointed out the star testimony was from Annet Kyomugisha, a lawyer to Katushabe, who told court that it was Sebuufu who called her on phone and put Katushabe on the loud speaker. Katushabe was crying and begging her lawyer to look for money because her captors had promised to kill her if she did not get the money.

Katushabe’s relatives jubilating

However, the judge put Steven Lwanga, a special hire driver at pine on charges of associating with the convicts who murdered Katushabe because when he was hired to drive Katushabe to police, he drove her back to pine where she was seriously tortured. State prosecutor Michael Ojok asked for an adjournment to prepare his submission on the sentencing because the convict deserves a maximum punishment of death. Sebuufu’s lawyer Evans Ochang told journalists that he is not happy with the judgment and he has to first read the entire judgment before advising his client on the way forward and whether to appeal in the court or not.

Katushabe’s relatives celebrated after the judgment and applauded the judge for standing by the truth adding that Sebuufu bribed all the people who were handling their case since 2015. Robert Muhindo, a brother to Katushabe said that even though Katushabe is dead and they can’t return her life, she will feel very contentedwherever she is. The convicted will know their fate on 1st July 2019.

By Jamil Lutakome

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It Was A Stage Managed Robbery – Rwomushana Punches Holes In Fang Fang Hotel Roberry

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Former State House operative cum political commentator Charles Rwomushana has punched holes in the robbery at Fang Fang hotel in Nakasero over the weekend.

On Sunday night, a joint team of Internal Security Organisation (ISO) and other security personnels allegedly arrested two soldiers and their driver in a foiled armed robbery at Fang Fang Hotel near Sheraton Kampala Hotel.

The security forces identified the suspects as Cpl Abbas Majid, Lance Cpl Ivan Asiimwe and their driver Ivan Opio.

They say the suspects were armed with two Sub-Machine Guns loaded with 300 bullets. They allegedly attacked the hotel at midnight but were intercepted by security operatives from ISO and SFC. The fourth suspect is still on the run.

Rwomushana, who is a security operative himself says, “Four Museveni soldiers are said to have been involved in a foiled robbery at Fang Fang.

This story breaks on the heels of the Nansana attack. I have argued before and I will still do that the Nansana attack was not a robbery. I wouldn’t consider the NRA attack on Kabale Bank of Uganda currency centre a robbery. This Fang Fang operation appears interesting. The targeted available amount of money was five million shillings. Gross profit for each soldier involved in the operation was averagely one million shillings.”

Rwomushana adds, “Most of these operators are noncommissioned officers (NCOs)…whose salaries are way above Museveni LDUs. ..above 300,000.

Expenses would include money for the informer insider, surveillance operations etc. Take home would be around 500,000. That is two months’ salary.

So what would be the motivation for Museveni military unit to indulge in such a silly robbery? I don’t see money being the motivating factor.

Did the purported robbery take place? Or its merely stage managed as propaganda to show that yes soldiers are involved in robberies but ISO and SFC are very efficient in curtailing them? I’m sure Fang Fang has a cctv camera system. Kindly upload those motion pictures so that the Thomas in me confirms the resurrection. Otherwise I will hold its another episode in a complex movie.”

By Doreen Menezer

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