The high court acquitted Abubakar Kalungi, the suspect implicated in the gun down of former Buyende District police Commander –DPC officer ASP Muhammad Kirumira and his friend Resty Nalinya Mbabazi.
Abubakar Kalungi, who has been on trial, was yesterday set free by High Court Judge Margaret Mutonyi on grounds that investigators did a shoddy job that has since left so many unanswered questions on who and why the two victims were murdered.
She condemned investigators for torturing Kalungi before giving a confessing statement. She said the suspect had healing wounds sustained a few days before recording a confessing statement. She observed that the statement was written in English and it was not translated for him since he can’t read or understand English.
“It unsafe to rely on confession statement recorded by Walimbwa Stephen because a confession statement recorded out of torture has no evidential value,” she ruled.
She ruled that there was no evidence that the deceased were killed by ADF terrorists because the body of Umar Katerega, the suspected killer who was allegedly put out of action by police could not be traced.
“Where Ugandan citizens are gruesomely killed using weapons which are a preserve of our security forces. It is important that investigations are taken seriously to the extent of establishing the kind of weapon that was used,” she ruled.
She ruled that the court could not convict Kalungi based on eye witness Abdul Kugongo who failed to identify him among the suspects despite noting that he was a few meters away from the crime scene.
Kirumira and Nalinya were gunned down on September 8, 2018 by unknown assailants travelling motorcycles. Kirumira was driving towards his home when gunmen waylaid him and opened fire at Bulenga trading centre. Following their death, police nabbed Hamza Mwebe and Abubakar Kalungi as the prime suspects implicated in the double murder.
Last year, the court started the trial of Hamza Mwebe and Abubakar Kalungi over their links to the killing of Kirumira and Nalinya. In December 2022, high Court Judge Justice Margrate Mutonyi acquitted Mwebe after the prosecution failed to avail evidence pinning him over the gruesome killing. She ruled that Kalungi had a case to answer.
In March 2023, court assessors advised the High Court to find the suspect Abubaker Kalungi innocent and acquit him of the crime. The assessors told Justice Margaret Mutonyi that they are not convinced that Kalungi participated in the murder of Kirumira and another victim Resty Nalinnya Mbabazi in Bulenga Trading Center, Wakiso district.
They claimed that they are convinced that the prosecution proved that Kirumira’s death was unlawful and committed with malice aforethought and that none of the 15 Prosecution witnesses had placed Abubaker Kalungi at the scene of the crime.
Kalungi was said to have been hired by one Kateregga who is reportedly dead, to trail Kirumira’s movements. It shall also be remembered that on 23rd November last year, Justice Mutonyi dismissed a confession statement of one of the suspects Abubaker Kalungi saying that the State had failed to prove that it was voluntarily made as it was full of contradictions. Kalungi was acquitted but was rearrested soon after.