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Suspect Denies Involvement in Rakai Pastor Killings

Fegansi told court that he was picked up on August 13, 2013 for illegal entrance into Uganda and wonders how he could have participated in the killings.
Vincent Fegansi, the Tanzanian national facing trial for the murder of Pastor Steven Mugambe and eight other members of his family has denied participating in the killings. In his defense before Justice Eudes Keitirima on Tuesday, Fegansi told court that he bought the black berry phone from Morogoro in Tanzania before coming to Uganda, which prosecution claims belonged to one of the deceased persons.

Fegansi told court that he was picked up on August 13, 2013 for illegal entrance into Uganda and wonders how he could have participated in the killings. Pastor Steven Mugambe was hacked to death together with his entire family at their home in Kanabulemu village, in Kyebe Sub-county in Rakai, on January 13, 2014. The other murder victims included his wife Noeline Nalinya, his mother Maria Namatovu, Berna Nakivumbi, Jane Nakiwala, Christine Nassimbwa, Maxencia Nakirijja, Dan Ssemwanga, and Andrew Mpeirwe.

According to Fegansi, after his arrest for illegal arrest he was arraigned in court where he was sentenced to one year in jail or a fine of Shillings 300,000. Fegansi told court that this prompted him to give his phone to a one Hadija to sell it to enable him raise the court fine. In it submission state prosecution led by Simon Peter Ssemalembe presented Abdul Akim Wabwire and Hajat Hadija Namwanga to pin Fegansi for the murder. 

Ssemalembe told court that Wabwire, who was an inmate in Mutukula Prison his statement claims that Fegansi confessed to the murders saying he gained entry into the house of the murder victims using a master key. According to Ssemalembe, Fegansi confessed to have got away from the murder scene using a vehicle that was found abandoned in Kyotera. Ssemalembe also told court that her testimonyNamwanga said that after receiving the black berry phone from the accused for selling, she decided to hand it over to Police since she didn\'t know the person she was dealing with.

However, Hassan Kamba and Fredrick Kalule, the lawyers of the accused asked court not to rely on the prosecution evidence since it had failed to produce evidence to show the actual owner of the phone. Kalule also argued that the black berry was introduced in the trial wrongly, adding Fegansi should have been charged with theft given the prosecution evidence. He also asked prosecution whether it was possible to dig a hole into the house and later use a master key to gain entrance, which the state failed to answer. 

Justice Keitirima adjourned the case to January 11, 2016 when the court assessors will make their submissions. On December 23, 2015, Justice Keitirima acquitted rally ace Ponsiano Lwakataka together with Emmanuel Zzinda from the same case saying prosecution had failed to prove its case against the accused.

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