The Buganda Road Court has this morning committed former Kampala Central Police Station (CPS) commander Aaron Baguma and his co-accused have been committed to the High Court for trial over murder.
Superintendent of Police (SP) Baguma, who recently surrendered himself over to police following the issuance of a warrant of arrest against him, is being charged in connection with the murder of city businesswoman Donah Katushabe.
Ms Katushabe was reportedly killed by a group of people led by city businessman Muhammad Sebuwufu, a dealer in second hand cars and owner of Pine car bond on Lumumba Road, after the deceased failed to clear a debt of Shs9 million. The other suspects include Stephen Lwanga, Godfrey Kayiza, Paul Tasingika and Phillip Mirambe.
According to the magistrate’s court, Baguma’s trial is at the discretion of the High Court, which will decide on the commencement of trial.
Following her killing, Katushabe’s relatives swung into action and ensured Sebuwufu was arrested and remanded to Luzira prison. However, Baguma, most probably using his powerful connections and influence, had since evaded arrest, prompting Katushabe’s relatives to protest to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mike Chibita wa Duallo, who in turn wrote to the police asking them to ensure Baguma faces the law.
But in the midst of all the hullabaloo, police chief General Kale Kayihura reshuffled his officers in the Kampala Metropolitan Police (KMP) area, in the process sending Baguma for a six-month ‘refresher’ course at the Police Senior Command and Staff College (PSCSC), Bwebajja, along Entebbe Road.
That was until last week on Friday, August 30. But this was not before the same relatives led by Mr Alex Masereka Epafura made a U-turn, and asked the DPP to drop the charges against Baguma.
“Your lordship, my name is Alex Masereka Epafura, I am the heir to the late Epafura Kule of Kasese, the late father to the late Donnah Katushabe, the deceased person in the above matter. Culturally, I am the head of the family and the father to the late Donnah Katushabe.
We do appreciate all what you have done in the management of this file so far despite the numerous challenges that came with it due to the high profile of some of accused person” reads the letter from Mr Masereka.
Mr Masereka said that after a serious heart and mind searching, the family agreed and request you (DPP) for one favour.
“Your Lordship, we request that SP Aaron Baguma be dropped from among the accused persons and this of the because following reason: From the day we got to know about the death of our sister, it was Aron Baguma who as DPC of CPS who helped us uncovering the rot that some other officers in police had done in ensuring that the murderers of our sister walk away scot free” reads to letter to DPP.
“It is Baguma who helped us in assembling some of the witnesses that came forward amidst fear and intimidation to volunteer evidence that is now on the file,” the family added.
The family further said it was Baguma who helped them in accessing the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Gen. Kale Kayihura, who in turn helped them find a team of new investigators when the ‘former team had been grossly compromised’.
“It is Baguma who arrested Mr Ssebuufu when he had already planned to leave the country to leave the country and had been assigned police escorts to help him on his mission. How we wish we had mandate to drop him from the charge sheet but because it’s only you with the said mandate, our humble prayer to you is that you find within your powers to do so,” the relatives added.
The effort was futile, with the DPP saying Baguma was ‘not above the law’.