The lawyer representing one of the people accused of participating in the assassination attempt on the life of Works and Transport Minister, Gen Katumba Wamala has told court that he is missing from prison where he was remanded.
Huzaifa Wampa alias Kanaabe was on July,15 remanded to Kitalya government prison after being charged with terrorism, murder and attempted murder and was the eight person to be arraigned in court, charged and remanded in relation to the attempted assassination of the former Chief of Defence Forces.
On Tuesday, whereas the other seven appeared via a video link from Luzira Upper prison, Wampa was nowhere to be seen, prompting his lawyer, Geoffrey Turyamusiima to report the same to court.
“Your worship, one of the accused, Huzaifa Wampa is not in court and the state should be asked to present him,” Turyamusiima told court.
Consequently, the state prosecutor, Barbra Kyomugisha was asked to defend the state over the same and in response, she asked for more time so she could get details from prisons authorities before responding to the same.
The trial magistrate Ponsiano Odwori adjourned the matter to August,31, 2021 for mention of the case but ordered the state prosecutor to come with a response on the matter on that day.
A total of eight people were last month remanded for allegedly participating in the assassination attempt on the life of Gen Katumba Wamala.
The eight include Huzaifa Wampa alias Kanaabe, Sheikh Yusuf Siraji Nyanzi, Hussein Sserubula, Muhammad Kagugube alias Musiramu alias Mugisha alias Mbavumoja and Kamada Walusimbi alias Mudinka.
Others are Siriman Ayuub Kisambira alias Mukwasi Koja, Abdulaziz Ramathan Dunku and Habib Ramanthan Marjan.
They are accused of several charges including murder, terrorism and attempted murder.
“The group together with seven people and others still at large between the months of March 2015 and June 2021 in various places in Uganda with intent to intimidate the public or section of the public for political, religious, social or economic aims indiscriminately without due regard to the safety of others or property, directly involved themselves in the murder and attempted murder of Police, UPDF personnel and civilians and attacks on some police establishments,” the charge sheet reads in part.
The group is also accused of the murder of Gen Katumba Wamala’s daughter Brenda Nantongo Katumba and his driver Haruna Kayondo who were shot dead on June 1st 2021, along Kisota road in Kisaasi in the Nakawa division of Kampala district.
Prisons speaks out
When contacted for a comment on the matter, Prisons spokesperson, Frank Baine said there was a mishap over the date of Wampa’s appearance in court.
“He(Wampa) was given a different date of appearance(in court). They had not harmonized date of appearance yet we only take people needed in court,” Baine told the Nile Post.
He explained that Wampa is supposed to appear in court on August 30th and not today as his co-accused .
“Because they(seven others) were the first to be remanded, they were given different dates from him(Wampa).”