State Witnesses Contradict Selves in Murder Case Against Traditional Healer

Ssendaga says the accused Lukabya has been his neighbor for over ten years in Kitubulu, Katabi Town Council, that the deceased was his friend and also someone who used to work for Lukabya because he would collect herbs. He explained further that Lukabya owns a shrine in Kitubulu.
06 May 2021 15:57

Audio 5

Two prosecution witnesses have today contradicted themselves in the murder case against Godfrey Lukabya, a traditional healer.

The state accuses 58-year-old Lukabya of unlawfully killing a one Moses Kalikwani in June 2019. 

While presenting its case this morning, the state produced four witnesses. They included Martin Nuwe Amupaire, Augustine Wamala, Detective Sergeant William Igama and Charles Ssendaga.

Nuwe told court he was the one who found Kalikwani’s body dumped in Kayirila forest reserve in Nkumba Central, Katabi Town Council on June 27th, 2019. 

Nuwe, who used to guard a private tree plantation near the forest reserve says he found the body dumped on a footpath in the morning hours. “The body did not have a head. He wore a pair of trousers and was bare chested,” Nuwe told court.

State Attorney Mariam Njuki and Lukabya’s lawyer Edward Ndahura asked if he observed anything else about the dead body. Nuwe responded in the negative, saying he was so scared after he saw the headless corpse.  Ndahura also asked Nuwe if he saw who dumped the dead body in the forest and he answered in the negative as well.

//Cue in:”Did you see….

Cue out:..i get scared.”//

Nuwe however says after he saw the dead body, he tried to get help from some people who were cutting trees in a nearby private tree plantation but in vain. “They instead run away, so I think they were thieves,” Nuwe adds. He then went to sand miners in the vicinity. They also did not act, prompting him to run to the LC 1 Defence secretary Augustine Wamala’s place. Wamala then called on the police who picked up the headless body and took it to the City Mortuary.

Wamala and Nuwe say they however did not know the deceased.

Meanwhile, Detective Sergeant Igama, who was among the police officers who went to scene and removed the dead body, says the deceased was wearing an army green pair of trousers, was bare chested and had missing body parts including his head and private parts.

He added that investigators recovered a knife (with a light blue handle), a panga and coffee seeds wrapped in dry banana leaves near the dead body. He added that the dead body was thereafter wrapped and transported to the city mortuary at Mulago.

However, Charles Ssendaga, who says he knew the deceased, says he was able to recognize his headless body at Nkumba Police station before it was taken to the mortuary. “I knew it was him because he was wearing a white pair of trousers and a white and red checked long sleeved shirt on the day he went missing.”

State Attorney Mariam Njuki, asked Ssendaga on three occasions on the colour of trousers the deceased was wearing on the last day he saw him. Ssendaga said white trousers. But Ssendaga in his statement at police said the deceased wore army green trousers on June 24th, 2019, the day he went missing.

As a result, he contracted the testimony of Igama, who said the deceased was found wearing army green trousers.

However,  Ssendaga’s testimony could connect Lukabya to the crime if items recovered at Lukanya’s shrine in Kitubulu contained blood stains belonging to the deceased. Igama says investigators recovered a white long sleeved shirt and a piece of wood with blood stains, two among other items on the roof of the grass thatched shrine.

Justice Wilson J. Kwesiga asked whether he recovered all the items. Igama said, “Yes, I recovered them.”

/Cue in:”In the house…

Cue out:..some blood stains.”//

MeanwhIle, Ssendaga says the accused person ( Lukabya) has been his neighbor for over ten years in Kitubulu, Katabi town Council, Wakiso district, He added that the deceased was his  friend and also someone who used to work for Lukabya because he would  collect herbs. He explained further that  Lukabya  owns a shrine in Kitubulu.

He adds that he last saw the deceased on June 24th around 5pm. “He was with me that evening. But around 5:30pm, he received a phone call from a woman. He left soon after, saying he was going to do some work for the woman. A day later, we realized that he had gone missing.”  

Lukabya's lawyer Edward Ndahura, during cross-examination asked Ssendaga if he heard what the woman who called the deceased talked about. Ssendaga says he did not hear but it was the deceased who told him that the woman had called him to do some work for her. 

//Cue in:’’Charles, did you…

Cue out:…kumi na biri.”//

The state says it has more witnesses and documents including the postmortem report to pin Lukabya. The case has been adjourned to May 7.