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Pine car murder case: Ssebuwufu, 7 others convicted of 3 accounts

Court has on Monday found pine car bond murder suspects guilty of three accounts. (PHOTO/File)

KAMPALA – The High Court Judge Flavia Anglin Ssenoga has Monday, June 24 found 8 people guilty of murdering a businesswoman Betty Donah Katusabe in 2015 over Shs9 million debt which was a balance on a car she had purchased.

Mohammad Sebuufu; the Pine car bond proprietor of the murder of a Kampala businesswoman Donah Betty Katushabe; over a 9 million shillings debt which was the balance on a car purchase

In her brief judgment, Justice Ssenogo has ruled that there is sufficient evidence adduced from 26 prosecution witnesses placing the Pine car bond proprietor Muhammad Sebuufu and 7 others at the scene of the crime at pine car motor bond along Lumumba Avenue in Kampala.

The judge has averred that the evidence left no doubt in her mind that Sebuufu and his co-suspects formed a common intention to kidnap Katushabe from her home at Bwebajja along Entebbe road and tortured her to death before robbing her of her mobile phone valued at Shs300, 000.

“If Sebuufu had no intention of murdering Katushabe, he would have used other means including filing a civil suit to recover the Shs9 million debt that the deceased owed him instead of using sticks and pangas to beat her,” the judge ruled.

Other convicted suspects; are Godfrey Kayizzi, Phillip Mirambi, Yoweri Kitayimbwa, Damaseni Ssetongo, Paul Tasingika and Shaban Odutu.

However, Justice Ssenogo exonerated the 8th convict Steven Lwanga, a special hire driver of the charges of Kidnap, murder and robbery and instead found him guilty of a lesser offence of being an accessory after the commission of an offense.

The judge explained that Sebuufu and the 6 co-convicts formed an intention to kidnap Katushabe and thereafter hired Lwanga’s car to Bwebajja, picked her (Katushabe) and drove her to Pine car bond where she met her death.

Family members of Katushabe after court. (PHOTO/Rachel Agaba)

The 8 convicts have now had their bail cancelled and remanded back to Luzira prison awaiting to be handed their respective sentences on July 1, 2019.

Sebuufu and the 7 convicts had been jointly indicted with the former Kampala CPS DPC Aaron Baguma for Katushabe’s murder but at the beginning of the trial, the DPP without giving any reason to court dropped charges against Baguma and continued with the trial of the rest.

Evidence from  the 26 witnesses   showed that the deceased after failing to pay the balance , Sebuufu hired a team of his security guards to pick  her from her residence  in Bwebajja along Entebbe road and directly drove to his office  at pine car bond on Lumumba Avenue from where she was kicked and  beaten  thereby causing grievous wounds to her body which led to her death on the 21st/October 2015.

Annet Kobusingye, the family’s lawyer after the judge said that at least they are happy now although a person cannot be brought back, they are happy Justice has been prevailed.

Enock Masereka the deceased’s brother also noted that that as a family they are so happy as their sister can now rest happily.

However, the accused’s lawyer Mr Evans Ocheng stated that they are not satisfied as the lawyers and will have to look at the full judgement that has not been delivered today.

“The problem is that the judge did not give reasons to why these people have been convicted because there was no evidence brought against them. We are ready to appeal,” Mr Ocheng said.

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