The Nakawa Chief Magistrate’s Court has issued a second set of criminal summons against Molly Katanga and her Daughter Martha Nkwanzi, requiring them to appear in court and be charged with the murder of businessman Henry Katanga.
The summons were issued on Monday by Chief Magistrate Erias Kakooza against Katanga who is the widow of the deceased and her daughter after they failed to show up in court as earlier summoned on November 21st 2023.
The summons were issued shortly after remanding three of their co-accused who have further been remanded.
The three are the deceased’s 31-year-old daughter Patricia Kakwanzi who is charged with Destroying evidence, 30-year-old George Amanyire who was the Shamba boy at Katanga’s home and Nursing Officer Otai Charles, who are charged with being Accessories after the fact (of murder).
According to the prosecution, Katanga was shot dead on November 2nd 2023 at Mbuya Chwa Two Road, Nakawa Division Kampala Capital City by his 55-year-old wife Molly Katanga.
Their daughters – Nkwanzi Martha Katanga – a student residing at Mbuya and Kakwanza Patricia – a businesswoman residing at Mbuya, knew that diverse things at the scene of crime may be required in evidence in a judicial proceeding, removed or destroyed them.
The prosecution further states that Amanyire and Otai received or assisted other people who were to their knowledge liable for an offence, to enable them to escape punishment.
Tricia Katanga, who was called in later after the murder had happened, has not been charged with any offence. She will perhaps appear as a witness against her mother and sister.
However, when the matter came up on Monday, Molly Katanga and Nkwanzi did not show up because they were respectively admitted to the International Hospital in Kampala -IHK and Roswell Women and Children Hospital.
Instead, they have sent a team of lawyers comprised of Elison Karuhanga, Bruce Musinguzi and Jet Tumwebaze to inform the court that Molly Katanga is advised to be kept under a doctor’s watch due to severe head and brain injuries and a hand fracture she suffered.
To support their arguments, the lawyers have then presented a letter and still pictures explaining that Molly Katanga was operated upon for those injuries and she is therefore not yet stable enough to attend court.
Regarding her daughter Nkwanzi, the court has heard she has just given birth at Rosewell Hospital and suffers from postpartum effects for which doctors recommended that she equally needs close supervision.
As such, the lawyers have promised to bring the widow and her daughter Nkwazi as soon as they get well to be charged with the offences against them.
However, the Prosecution led by Mariam Kulthum asked for a warrant of arrest against the widow and her daughter Nkwanzi saying that they snubbed court and also added that the investigations are still ongoing in this case.
After hearing from both parties, Chief Magistrate Kakooza declined to issue a warrant of arrest and instead extended the criminal summons requiring the two to appear in court on January 8th 2024 for reading of charges against them. The three who were charged last month have also been further remanded until then.
The proceedings in a fully packed courtroom, amidst heavy downpours occurred as Katanga’s relatives silently demonstrated wearing T-shirts and holding placards demanding justice for their murdered relative.
The same court has also refused to hear a bail application by the three accused persons who were charged earlier and advised them to apply in the High Court which has the original jurisdiction to handle capital offences.
At the same court, the mother of the deceased Mirian Kyobuhoro and his uncles have hired the former Deputy Attorney General Mwesigwa Rukutana to follow the trial on their behalf, something that has not sat well with the defence team.
The defence team accused them of hijacking the trial from the Director of Public Prosecutions -DDP and therefore the justice of their clients is at stake because of revenge that is coming from within the state.
They say Rukutana should tell the relatives to walk to the police to record their statements which would be used at trial.
Application for inquest
As this criminal case is ongoing, there is another pending application for an inquest before the Civil Division of the High Court filed by Brigadier General Freddie Karara Machwa, an uncle of the deceased and Bwaniaga Moses Taremwa a brother-in-law of the deceased.
They the court to allow their application, to find out the clear circumstances leading to the death of their relative. They claim Katanga was shot dead but several people whom they list in their ex parte application including top Army Generals in the UPDF and Colonels as well as some top Police Commanders, and a Minister, are shielding the truth of murder from coming out.
They accuse them of fronting a narrative that Katanga died of suicide, and also going ahead to accuse them of having aided the widow and her daughter to disguise the murder as a suicide case, tampering with CCTV as well as the scene of crime.
Henry Katanga and his wife Molly Katanga had been supplying items to key government agencies including the Ministry of Defense. Katanga was one of the Ankole princes while his wife Molly Katanga is a relative and close confidant to key government and security officials.