High court judge Flavia Anglin Sennoga has found guilty Pine car bond proprietor Muhammad Sebuufu of murdering businesswoman Betty Donah Katushabe over a 9 million car debt in October 2015.
He has been convicted with seven others while a one Lwanga Steven a special hire driver has been found guilty of being an accessory after commission of an offense.
Justice Senoga has ruled that prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt that Sebuufu and 7 others had a common intention to kidnap Katushabe from her home at Bwebajja , robbed her of her mobile phone and tortured her to death.
Sebuufu and his co accused have therefore been found guilty and consequently convicted of murder, kidnap and robbery.
The judge has explained that prosecution evidence placed the convicts at the scene of crime as those who kidnaped Donah and intentionally caused her death.
however Justice Senoga has exonerated Lwanga of murder and instead accused convicted him of being an accessory since he is the one who drove the car that drove Katushabe from her residence to pine car bond where she was tortured from leading to her death .
The judge has also cancelled their bail and remanded them to Luzira prison and set the 1st of July to sentence them.
In April this year, three court assessors asked court to dismiss all murder and kidnap charges against Ssebuufu and his co accussed after Rehema Babirye, Wasimila Joseph and Betty Bogere told court that prosecution failed to adduce sufficient evidence that warrant the accused’s conviction.
The assessor relied on one of the evidence of Ssebuufu’s lawyer Brian Tindyebwa in which he testified before court that his client spent that entire day at Mengo Magistrate court in a land case.
The assessors also advised court to dismiss the kidnap charge on grounds that the deceased had herself requested to be taken to pine car bond instead of CPS when some of the accused persons together with police allegedly came to arrest her from her home.
On the 8th of January this year, in an effort to further prove his innocence, Ssebuufu produced his lawyer Tindyebwa as his witness to prove that he was not near his alleged murder victim on that fateful day.
Brian Tindyebwa informed Kampala high court that on that fateful day, his client spent the whole day at Mengo magistrate court in land case.
He explained that although he had asked his colleague to sit in for him because he had another case, he later joined Ssebuufu and sat behind up to three pm when the case ended.
Ssebuufu had denied to have been near Donah Katushabe or his other co accused when the incident happened claiming that he left Mengo after the case and reached at his car bond around six and found the victim there and later called the former Police commander of CPS Aron Baguma to intervene in the matter.
Ssebuufu closed his defense and the judge ordered both parties to submit their final submissions basing on the evidence presented on why him and his co accused should be acquitted or convicted.
Prosecution closed its case with 26 witnesses and his co accused include a private guard Godfrey Kayiza,Steven Muwanga, a Congolese national Mirambe Phillip, a crime preventer attached to CPS Paul Tasingika among others.
On the 4th of December 2018, Ssebuufu began his defense and choose to give un sworn in defense in which prosecution did not have to cross examine him.
In october 2018, justice Anglin Flavia Ssenoga ruled that Ssebuufu had a case to answer on grounds that prosecution had adduced sufficient evidence to prove that Ssebuufu and his co-accused tortured to death the victim on the 23rd of October 2015 after failing to pay a debt of 9 million shillings over a car.
Sebuufu had initially been charged with the former Kampala CPS DPC Aaron Baguma over Katusabe’s kidnap and murder but later the DPP without giving any reason to court dropped charges against Baguma and continued with the trial of Ssebuufu and the rest, at the beginning of the trial this year.
According to evidence presented by prosecution, the deceased purchased a car at pine car bond at 13 million but only managed to pay five million.
That after failed attempts by Ssebuufu to have Katushabe pay the remaining 9millions, he instructed his security guards to pick up the victim from her home in Bwebajja along Entebbe road on that fateful day.
Prosecution states that after kidnapping Katushabe, she was taken directly to Ssebuufu’s office from where she was kicked and beaten with sticks there by causing grievous wounds to her body which led to her death.