By Sania Babirye
The National Identification Registration Authority (NIRA) has denied knowledge of the eight people who are on remand at Luzira maximum prison for allegedly murdering the former police spokes’ person AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi, his body guard Kenneth Erau and driver Godfrey Wambewa.
The eight had come once again before Kampala high court justice Lydia Mugambe with hopes of finally temporarily going home after the judge granted them bail in March this year.
However, NIRA revealed that the National identification cards they presented before court could be forged since they can not trace them anywhere in their data system .
Justice Mugambe has now ordered that the suspects produce letters from Local council Authorities in places where they shall be residing upon release on bail .
In a rejoinder, lawyers representing the accused led by Anthony Wameli and Ladislaus Rwakafuzi have however blamed NIRA of selective identification of persons.
These allege that NIRA acts differently by readily availing information if the police requires it but it becomes adamant when the courts of law require the same for purposes of justice.
The case has now further been adjourned to the 29th june to allow the state verify all identification reports that will be given to court.
On the 19th of March this year, Justice Lydia Mugambe finally granted bail to the eight jailed Kaweesi murder suspects .
She ordered them to sign a non cash bail of 150m and their three sureties ordered to also deposit a 250m shillings bond to ensure that they return to court for trial .
They were also restricted in traveling outside Uganda by court ordering that they deposit all their travel and identification documents to court.
While granting them bail, justice Mugambe ruled that the eight had presented substantial sureties.
She also ruled that its unlawful to continue detaining them without trial since they have been on remand in prison for now 2 years despite being committed for trial by Nakawa magistrates court .
And consequently Justice Mugambe ordered that unless the eight have any other pending case, they should be released immediately.
Three out of the eight suspects are also charged with the murder of Maj. Muhammad Kiggundu but were also granted bail.
On the 26th of February this year, the Eight Suspects in the murder of the former spokesperson of the Uganda Police AIG Andrew Felix Kaweesi and their relatives protested their continued detention without trial after one of them collapsed at the international crimes division of the High court in Kampala due to hunger.
Suspect Nyanzi Yusuf has collapsed in court after being kept in the court cells since morning without any food or water yet he suffers from severe stomach ulcers and cannot goo without food for a long time.
The aggrieved suspects claimed that they are illegally being detained in Luzira Government prison since May 2017 yet they have never been tried in court.
These had appeared before justice Mugambe for their bail application hearing, however the judge was forced to adjourn the matter after state led by Marion Ben Bella asked for more time to organize relative documents in her case.
Matters went out of hand when justice Mugambe asked for the case to be heard in her chambers instead of open court which did not go well with both the suspects and their relatives.
The suspects and relatives thought that the case was again going to be adjourned for the third time and as a result started speaking on top of their voices saying they want court to at least execute them because they were fed up of being humiliated and subjected to embarrassment ever since they were arrested, charged, and committed to the crimes court for trial by the Nakawa Chief Magistrate Court in May 2017.
Justice Mugambe later come back to court and inquired why the suspect fainted and discovered that it was due to severe ulcers.
Justice Mugambe then ordered Luzira Prisons Authorities never to bring hungry prisoners to her Court who are too weak to stand because being in prison does not mean deprivation of good.
The suspects claimed that their relatives keep on trekking to court wasting money and leaving their work yet court keeps on refusing to grant them bail or formally try them for the past six months.
Some of their relatives asked court to at least hand their relatives any sentence so that they can rest their worry over their pending trial.
The suspects are represented by Ladislaus Rwakafuuzi and Wameri Anthony.
Prosecution states that the suspects on the morning of 17th/March 2017 at Kulambiro within Kampala district shot dead AIGP Felix Kaweesi, his body guard Kenneth Erau and his driver Godfrey Wambewa as the trio drove in the official Uganda Police vehicle to work.
These have however not been released because state is still analyzing all the submitted documents up to date.