In a case involving nine individuals accused of the murder of Susan Magara, a former employee of Bwendero Dairy Farm, the trial judge had to postpone court proceedings.
This was due to the defense lawyer’s assertion that his clients had missed supper the previous night and were not fit to remain in the dock for an extended period.
The suspects, who are remanded in Luzira prison for Magara’s murder, include Yususf Lubega, Hussein Wasswa, Muzamiru Ssali, Hajara Nakandi, Abubaker Kyewolwa, Mahad Kisalita, Hassan Kato Miiro, Ismail Bukenya, and Musa Abbas Buvumbo.
The defense attorney, Mr. Richard Kumbuka, explained that the suspects had gone without food the previous night because court proceedings had concluded late, and by the time they arrived at the prison, supper had already been served.
He emphasized their hunger and restricted access to food, leading him to request an adjournment to ensure a fair hearing. The judge, Alex Ajiji, agreed with this request, emphasizing the importance of the right to food for all citizens and postponing the proceedings to the next day.
On that day, the suspects had been in court for the cross-examination of a prosecution witness, Frank Nyakairu, who testified about tracking the mobile phones used by the kidnappers to demand a ransom for Magara’s release.
Nyakairu detailed the locations associated with the phone calls, including Lungujja, Nakawuka, Kitebi near Mutuntundwe, Bulange, Nsangi, and Najjanankumbi. The witness also mentioned their encounter with a yellow car in Mutundwe, which led to the arrest of one of the suspects, Nakandi, and the seizure of the car.
Furthermore, Nyakairu’s testimony revealed that they traced the calls to a religious extremist named Yakub Byensi based at Usafi Mosque in Mengo and identified the main suspect, Yusuf Lubega.
The security operatives used a ruse involving Lubega’s mother to locate and arrest him at Usafi Mosque. During the operation, one of the security personnel had their hand severed by a machete-wielding individual connected to the suspects, ultimately resulting in tear gas being used to apprehend them.