KATANGA TRIAL: Daughter alerted police of a suicide at home, witness tells court

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Molly's co-accused, Martha, Kakwanza, Amanyire and Otai standing in the dock

KAMPALA, UGANDA – The trial of Molly Katanga continued on Tuesday, July 9 with the testimony of Police Witness No. 2, ASP Musede Samuel, who is attached to Jinja Road Police Division and is currently in charge of community policing in Bugolobi.

ASP Musede testified that he received a call from Patricia Kakwanza, a friend, on November 2, 2023, at around 7:50 am, informing him that someone had committed suicide by shooting at her home.

“I was in Mukono [where I stay] and I told her I would be a bit late and she told me ‘I am waiting’. I was ushered into the house by a peron whom I later learnt was a chef [Amanyire]. I went to the downer sitting room and I could see Patricia in the upper one. In the house I found there a gentleman whom Patricia informed was Dr. Charles Otai. I was directed to a room where the deceased body was found,” he said.

When asked what he observed at the scene, ASP Musede stated, “I saw a pistol on the bed, a spent cartridge, a live bullet, and a lot of blood in the room. The body was placed on a new 3-inch mattress, and there was no blood coming out of it. The body had been cleaned and tied with gauze on the legs.”

The witness also testified that when he inquired whose body was, Patricia told him it was her dad. On inquiry where her mother (Molly) was, Patricia told him the incident happened when she wasn’t around.

He said at this moment, Amanyire was busy mopping the room to clean blood.

He said there was a lot of blood especially on the mosquito net.

He reportedly told them to stop whatever they were doing and he communicated with his immediate boss at Bugolobi Police Station, ASP Peter Ogwang who in return told him that he was already aware of the incident through Dr. Otai.

“I told them to stop whatever they were doing and I communicated to my immediate boss, who told me he had already received information from Dr. Otai and was on his way to the scene,” ASP Musede said.

ASP Musede also stated that he did not know the deceased, but knew Patricia Kakwanza, Otai Charles, and Amanyire through his work in community policing.

“I know Patricia Kakwanza from Security Plus, and I would talk to their people on a daily basis. I also know Martha Nkwanzi and Otai Charles from Patricia,” he testified.

According to Musede’s testimony on Tuesday, the police arrived almost two hours after the distress call.

The witness continued yesterday:

“I didn’t see Molly Katanga at the scene, but Patricia told me that the body was her father’s,” ASP Musede said. “She told me that the incident happened when her mother was not around.”

Defence lawyer MacDosman Kabega challenged Musede’s testimony suggesting that Patricia never told him that it was her dad who had committed suicide when he inquired whose body was. Musede insisted that it was not a lie.

Kabega also suggested that Patricia never told Musede that her mother (Molly) was not at home at the time of the incident when the officer inquired about her whereabouts. The cop also insisted it was not a lie.

At the prompting of defence lawyer Elison Karuhanga, Musede admitted that indeed he responded to a crime scene when he is not a trained and qualified Scene of Crime Officer (SOCO) and did not record any first information.

Defence lawyers also noted inconsistencies in Musede’s court testimony and police statement. He however insisted that both can be relied on adding that there could have been omissions in his two submissions but that was the version of events he witnessed.

Earlier in the day, another witness police doctor Julius Muhwezi testified, distancing himself from a Police Form 24 presented as evidence. He told court that the form was tampered with.

Dr. Muhwezi stated, “I can only own part B of the form. I didn’t sign the first half,” he said, adding the stamp date on the second half had been altered.

The defense counsel, Elison Karuhanga, suggested that Dr. Muhwezi did not examine the suspects and that the form was fabricated as evidence.

The High Court Criminal Division presided over by Justice Isaac Muwata is hearing the trial.

Molly Katanga, who was a victim of the incident that led to the death of her husband on the fateful day of November 2, 2023 is being tried alongside her daughters—Patricia Kankwanzi and Martha Nkwanzi  charged with destroying evidence while the family’s shamba boy, George Amanyire, and a nursing officer Charles Otai, also charged with accessory after a fact of murder.

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