Kampala. The trial of Jacqueline Uwera Nsenga in the High Court yesterday cast the police into the spotlight when the Directorate of Public Prosecutions pinned the Deputy Director of the Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Directorate (CIID), Mr Geoffrey Musana, for allegedly disregarding its legal aice on the murder case.
Ms Uwera is accused of murdering her husband Juvenal Nsenga by running over him with a car at their residence in Bugolobi, Kampala in January 2013.
Ms Uwera presented Mr Musana as her defence witness to testify against the State. Mr Musana was the lead investigator of the murder case.It is the first time a head of CIID has testified against the State in favour of an accused in a criminal case. Police investigate offences and hand over the case files to the DPP for prosecution. The two government departments normally work together in investigation and prosecution of criminal cases.Mr Musana told court that there was a long standing disagreement between the DPP and the police on what offence Ms Uwera should be charged with.
“We wanted to charge the accused with causing death by a rush and negligent act because she acted carelessly and negligently but when we forwarded the file to the DPP for legal aice, he said we charge her with murder,” Mr Musana testified. During the investigations Mr Musana personally wrote back to the DPP, insisting there was no evidence for a murder charge against Ms Uwera.The then DPP, Mr Richard Butera, now a judge of the Court of Appeal, dismissed the police opinion and invoked his authority to charge Ms Uwera with murder.
I don’t know my husband’s estate worth – Uwerarosecutor Susan Okalany: You had fellowship at Innocent Bisangwa’s home with his wife? (Bisangwa is elder brother of Nsenga, Uwera’s deceased husband)And you are aware that he has his own businesses, among them Virunga Dairy Industries?Uwera: Yes my lord.
Okalany: Your father-in-law, Mr Donati Kananura has three wives, each of them in their own house. He also has 1000 acres of land with Friesian cows, a tea estate and several commercial buildings. Generally he is a wealthy man.Uwera: Yes he is. Okalany: Are you aware of Katraco Co. Ltd and who owns it?Uwera: My husband
Okalany: Can you confirm he is the sole owner of the company?Uwera: He pulled out of the company, he was a shareholder and registered his own company. Okalany: Which company?Uwera: I did not ask
Okalany: So you did not know what your husband was doing?Uwera: (stammers) I knewOkalany: Can you confirm that at the time of his death he was not the owner of Katraco?Uwera: He pulled out in late 2011.
Okalany: shows her certificate of annual returns of the company dated December 10, 2012, indicating three shareholders: Donati Kananura, Faustine Katuramu and Juvenal Nsenga) So as of December, 2012 your husband was a shareholder in the company?Uwera: Yes
Okalany: You spoke of trucks owned by your husband, particularly 80 trucks, are these in his names? Uwera: When we got married I asked how many trucks he had and he told me 80.
Okalany: Can you confirm that those trucks belonged to Katraco where he was a shareholder and his father and brother had shares? Did you see their log books?Uwera: I did not ask him because being in his residence I believed him.
Okalany: You also said he owned three acres of land in Nalukolongo and more land on 6th Street. Did you see the land titles? (She is given documents, reads and the land title indicates the land belongs to Katraco)Uwera: He took me to the land and I saw no reason to ask for the land title.
Okalany: Who owns the house you are staying in? Uwera: We owned it, we bought it from Crane BankOkalany: Are you aware the house is on two plots and has two certificates of title? (presents documents) Are you aware the house was on leasehold and the lease expired and your father in-law renewed the lease?Uwera: I am not aware.
Okalany: You estimated your husband’s wealth at over Shs50 billion in light of these facts, can you now break it down?Uwera: (brief silence) He had a house in Mbuya, I don’t know its worth.Okalany: Am I correct to say you do not know your husband’s estate because the property was jointly owned?Nsenga: I did not ask
Okalany: So you are simply guessing? Can you confirm that the document you signed before your sister, lawyer Sam Bitangaro and Mr Kananura was to process the letters of administration?Uwera: No! It said that they had to get permission from me for whatever they wanted to do with my husband’s property.
Okalany: Let’s talk about your relationship with your husband. You said it had gone sour, the guy was now a drunkard who was always out?Uwera: I did not say it had gone sour. We had challenges.Okalany: You also narrated how you saw Roleta (cousin to the late) dressed skimpily one evening and going down stairs where your husband was. What was wrong with that? Did you expect her to be in a gomesi in the evening? (laughter in court). You also said you read a message from your husband to her saying, “I am tired, I don’t hate you. I love you.” What was wrong with that?Uwera: Since it was evening time, I did not expect her to be skimpily dressed and when my husband was never around she wore jeans. He never told her he loved her in my presence.
Okalany: Let’s come to the scene of the accident as you call it. Was your car manual or automatic and can you take us through the process of starting your car?Uwera: It was an automatic car. Okalany: (reads what the accused told court). So you placed the left leg in and as you were putting the right leg in, before the door could close, the car jerked?Uwera: Yes
Okalany: You controlled using the steering wheel?Uwera: I would imagine so. Okalany: That is what you told court and wrote in your police statement, don’t say you imagine so! Can you confirm you have been a regular driver for 11 years?Uwera: Yes
Okalany: When your husband passed on at Paragon Hospital, can you confirm that when you returned home, you stayed in your bedroom for days and had to be called out to sit near his body?Uwera: The incident was on Thursday, we came home on Friday evening and I spoke to Innocent and his brother Faustine on Saturday. They believed what happened.Okalany: Can you confirm that you made a charge and caution statement to police on 4th February 2013 and you said you were under police protection. Why police protection?Uwera: I had death threats from Joseph Kananura and there were other people who threatened me.
Okalany: Did you report this matter to police?Uwera: No, my sister called the police and they aised me to go with them to special investigations unit in Kireka.Okalany: How were you sleeping?Uwera: I slept in the female suspects’ cell, in my own room with a reasonable mattress and my family brought me food.
Okalany: I am baffled how the police could keep you in a cell when you had no case to answer.Uwera: What mattered was my safety. Okalany: You also said the police told you they had no case against you?Uwera: Yes
Okalany: How did you know the DPP had charges against you?Uwera: I kept asking and Mr Musana (deputy CID Director) told me about the DPP’s charges.(Deputy Director of CID, Geoffrey Musana is cross-examined by the prosecutor Okalany).Okalany: Why was the accused under police protection?
Musana: She complained to us about death threats but when we investigated, the source of information declined to record a statement and her brothers in-law denied. I instructed the OC CID Jinja Road to take her to Kireka. Okalany: Is this the normal police practice?Musana: In the prevailing circumstances it was normal, in any investigation it is our duty to provide security and the only convenient place was Kireka.
Okalany: And she was always locked up for six months like any other suspect? Why were you holding a citizen whom you said had no case to answer as if she was a detainee? Depriving her of personal liberty? Musana: She did not complain to us and never asked to be removed. This was done in the knowledge of her lawyer, Mr Kabega. I believe they were happy. Okalany: When did you arrest her because you told defence that you preferred charges of causing death by a rush and negligent act?Musana: The arrest commenced when a decision was taken to charge this person. In between there was prolonged detention.
Judge: Which detention?Musana: I mean protection. We had recommended that she be charged with that offence but on forwarding the file to the DPP for perusal and legal aice, he said we charge her with murder. We wrote back, saying we were not satisfied there was evidence for ingredients of malice aforethought. The DPP wrote back, reiterating his position.
Okalany: Are you aware of the powers of the DPP and that once he has sanctioned a case, not even the President can ask him to do otherwise? As police, under what law were you disregarding his aice?Musana: We were not disregarding but wanted to sort out some technical issues?Okalany: We don’t have time to waste, what are those technical issues, Mr Musana? Musana: We..(stammers and tries to read from a paper).
Okalany: (gives him file of documents to read)an you confirm that the district traffic police commander had forwarded the matter to the OC CID to investigate possible malice aforethought? Musana: Yes! Okalany: So in police wisdom, why did you disagree with the DPP?Musana: We did not disagree, we have had cases where a file has moved from DPP to police and back for over four times. Anyway after judicial review and several meetings, it was agreed that she be charged with murder.
(end of cross examination)Defence lawyers play a D with speeches of the father of the deceased and his sister during the funeral, urging people to calm down and not judge Uwera regarding the death of the husband.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor