By Peter Ssebulime
One of the suspects arrested for the murder of a mobile money agent and her worker in Zzana, Kampala, a few months back, told court on Monday that he confessed to the crime after being tortured by police.
Stanley Mulunda, of the five suspects who were arrested for the murder of two mobile money agents identified as Harriet Nalwadda and Moureen Nakabuubi, told the General Court Martial in Makindye during cross examination, that he agreed to have committed the crime because he was tortured severely and couldn’t bear the pain anymore, so he had to agree to whatever he was asked about the crime while recording a statement.
The revelation about Mulunda’s confession came as a result of testimonies submitted in court by two state witnesses who appeared in court; they were Detective Assistant Inspector of police Dickens Ebwang Chris, who is the Oficer in Charge of Criminal Investigations at Katwe police, and Detective Assistant Superintendent of Police Patrick Sembatya from Entebbe police station, who pinned the suspects for having committed the crime in their submissions.
However, after listening to Mulunda’s controversial statement, court adjourned the matter to November 12, 2019 for further hearing.
It is alleged by prosecution that Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) Privates Bob Anichan and Dennis Mwangusho, L/Cpl Edward Mubale , Stanley Mulunda and Issa Ntale, a boda-boda rider, on June 10, 2019 caused the death to Moureen Nakabuubi and Harriet Nalwadda when they shot them dead and later robbed them of money worth over Shs6.8m.
Nalwadda together with her employee Nakabubi were shot dead by five suspected robbers, riding on three motorcycles.
The duo was attacked at Zzana trading Centre, few meters off Entebbe Road, as they headed home.
The five were charged in July at the General Court Martial in Makindye. Court documents indicate that Anichan and Mangusho were dismissed from the UPDF after being convicted of a series of robberies and at the time of the commission of the Zzana murder Anichan had just been released from prison after serving a 14-year-jail term.
The documents further indicate that Ntale’s role was to trail victims and transport assailants.
The suspects were charged with murder and aggravated robbery, contrary to section 188, 189, 285 and 286 of the Penal Code Act. On conviction, the offence of murder attracts a non-mandatory sentence of death while aggravated robbery attracts life imprisonment.
However, by the time of their arrest, several mobile money agents in Kampala had been killed and the murders didn’t stop even after the police had netted the suspected.
On Sunday October 21st, 2019, three people were shot dead in Lyantonde district and a nearby mobile money shop robbed. Police say the mobile point later became a target because the agent was operating late in a place which was not secure and he became a victim of an attack which was carried out by a family member to the three victims who were shot dead.
Police has since arrested two suspects Ben Kakuru, a civilian and Nathan Mwebaza who is a Uganda Peoples Defence Forces soldier.
On October 6, 2019 Hussein Mutyaba a boda-boda rider was shot in the head as he chased after two men who had just robbed two ladies who were mobile money operators at their home.
The two men attacked the agents at their rented premises at Nakabugo village, Bulaga Parish in Wakiso district at around 9:00pm before they murdered them.
Investigators thus suspect that there are criminals who are specifically targeting mobile money agents and thus warn them to take caution.
Indeed police spokesperson Fred Enanga warned mobile money dealers and agents to often desist from moving with big amounts of money as this will endanger their lives.