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Magara suspects return to court

By Sania Babirye
Kampala High court judge Jane Francis Abodo is today expected to start hearing the case in which nine people are charged with the murder of 28-year-old Susan Magara who was a cashier at Bwendeiro diary farm.

The suspects are led by the Imam of Usafi mosque Mahad Kasalita together with two bodaboda riders Yusuf Lubega and Muzamir Ssali, hawkers Wasswa Hussein and Hassan Kato Milo , a teacher Nakandi Hajara and two businessmen Abubakar Kyewolwa and Ismail Bukenya.

These were committed to the high court for trial in November this year by Buganda road court grade one magistrate Patrick Mukanza who also issued for a warrant of arrest of the main suspect Patrick Kasaija also known as Pato who is believed to be detained in South Africa.

The nine had contested their committal with out the arrest of Pato but their application was dismissed on grounds that the accused can go ahead and be tried as police continues with their effort to arrest Pato also known as Patrick Agaba and have him extradited from South Africa.

The case was first given to high court judge Elizabeth Kabanda, however she excused herself on conflict of interest since she has been friends with one of the suspects Nakandi for the past 13 years old.

These were charged on the 18th of May this year with two counts of kidnapping and murdering Susan Magara but were bared from taking any plea since they are charged with a capital offense that can only be tried and bailed by the high court.

prosecution states that the nine with others still at large on the 7th of February 2018 kidnapped Susan Magara with intent to procure a ransom.
The deceased was kidnapped on the 7th of February in Lungujja on her way home this year and held captive for three weeks for a ransom of 3.6 billion dollars.
However, the accused went ahead and killed Magara on the 27th of Febuary despite the family delivering 700million shillings to them and later dumped her remains in Kitiko village between Kigo and kajjansi along Entebbe expressway in Wakiso district.

According to state, the suspects had come up with a plan to better themselves from poverty through kidnapping rich persons or their families for ransom and Magara was their first victim in January.
The group was also arrested with exhibits including cash and properties like tax cars and land titles they had purchased with the 700million shillings from the deceased’s anxious family.
Magara was identified by suspect Yakubu Byensi who knows Magara’s family and believed to be a former member of ADF a rebel group and Yusuf Lubega who worked with the deceased’s mother at container village.
The deceased was suffocated to death with a polythene bag with two of her fingers removed .
It is said that the group’s intention was not to kill Magara but after the victim came to know one of the suspects Nakandi, they feared that she would identify her to to the police leading to their arrest.