One of six people accused of masterminding the kidnap and subsequent murder of social worker Maria Nagirinya and her driver Ronald Kitayimbwa in 2019 has admitted that he told lies to police following his arrest.
On Tuesday, Nasif Kalyango, 25, a boda boda rider told court that on the fateful day in 2019, he was approached by four people who had been brought by Hassan Kisekka to chauffer them to two destinations at Kalerwe and later Lungujja.
“They paid me cash shs50,000 before the journey,” Kalyango said.
He said by the time the four customers came, his phone had blacked out and used Copriyam Kasolo’s to call his fellow boda boda rider, Shafick Mpanga.
Whereas Kasolo and Johson Lubega sat on Kalyango’s motorbike, Isaac Ssenabulya and one Fred sat on Mpanga’s as they were chauffeured to Kalerwe where they spend a few minutes before being asked to be taken to Lungujja.
“Along the way, my boda boda developed some mechanical problem prompting Kasolo and Lubega to jump off and go to Mpanga’s boda boda. I later chauffeured Ssenabulya as Fred never went with us,” Kalyango who was defending himself told court.
He said by the time he reached Lungujja, Mpanga’s boba boda had already dropped Kasolo and Lubega who were by now driving Nagirinya’s vehicle and signalled to him to drop Ssenabulya who later joined them in the vehicle.
Kalyango said at this time he rode back to Nateete.
Admits to lying
During cross examination by the state prosecutor, Jonathan Muwaganya, Kalyango found a torrid time responding to questions.
When Muwaganya asked him to confirm the stage at which he was paid, Kalyango said the shs50 ,000 was paid to him before he chauffeured the group to Kalerwe and then Lungujja.
However, when a video recording captured during scene reconstruction was played, it indicated that Kalyango had told investigators that he later after chauffeuring the four people asked his fellow boda boda rider, Shafik Mpanga whether he had been given money by the “customers”.
“My Lord, I lied to police officers(during scene reconstruction) but what I am telling court now is the truth since I have taken oath to speak the truth,” he said.
Whereas Kalyango told court that after carrying those passengers, he never heard from them again, the state prosecutor insisted that the suspect was only trying to disassociate himself from his co-accused yet they kept in touch even after the crime.
Kalyango admitted to making another lie when the state prosecutor asked him to confirm if the vehicle being driven by Kasolo and carrying Nagirinya and Kitayimbwa who had now been kidnapped left the kidnap scene before him.
A video recording of the scene reconstruction captured Kalyango say he kept at the scene and followed the vehicle shortly.
However, in court on Tuesday, he said he had been coached by police at Nateete police station to say so.
“All that I said in that video(scene reconstruction) was coached to me by police at Nateete. What I am saying now here is the truth because then I was on gun point to say all that,” he said.
However, the state prosecutor accused Kalyango of telling another lie to court by saying he was speaking with the gun on his head.
“In that video, there no gun on your head. You are telling lies to court,” Muwaganya said.
Meanwhile, the CCTV footage from police cameras stations in Lungujja indicated that after the kidnap and the vehicle driven by Kasolo left the scene, the two boda bodas remained behind and followed it later.
This was contrary to what Kalyango told court that he left the scene before the vehicle.
When asked who was on the two boda bodas captured riding behind shortly after the vehicle had left the scene, Kalyango said he was not aware of whose boda bodas they were.
Co-accused quizzes him
Kalyango also found a torrid time answering questions from Copriyam Kasolo, his co-accused who is representing himself.
Whereas Kalyango had told court that he was paid shs50,000 before he could carry the customers, Kasolo asked him to confirm what he had told police in his statement.
In the statement, Kalyango had said that after the mission, he was paid shs20,000 for fuel he had used and shs10,000 for the work done.
He found a hard time responding to this question from his co-accused.
“I don’t know what the police officer put in the statement since it is different from what I told him,” he said.
The trial before Justice Isaac Muwata resumes today.