High court rejects state witness confession in Kirumira murder

High court building

The High court in Kampala has rejected an extra-judicial statement in which Abubaker Kalungi allegedly confessed to have participated in the murder of Muhammad Kirumira, the former Buyende district police commander.

Kirumira was gunned down together with his girlfriend, Resty Nalinya Kalungi at around 8:00 pm in Bulenga, Wakiso district on September 8, 2018. Kalungi allegedly recorded the extra-judicial statement before Buganda Road court magistrate, in which he confessed to having participated in the double murder. 

The magistrate, whose name has been withheld told the court that Kalungi was brought to his chambers to make a statement voluntarily. He explained that when asked in his chamber the language he was comfortable communicating with, Kalungi chose Luganda.  

The magistrate told the court that although Kalungi made his statement in Luganda where he confessed to his involvement in the murder, it was penned down in English. In the statement, Kalungi confessed to having been hired by Abdul Kateregga, another suspect in the same case to trail Kirumira, which he did and spotted him on that fateful day in Bulenga.

According to the statement, Kalungi confessed that when he saw Kirumira, he called Kateregga who came with another suspect, Hamza Mwebe on a motorcycle with a firearm. Kalungi reportedly left the scene only to hear gunshots minutes later. However, appearing before the court more than a month back, Kalungi denied recording the extra-judicial statement. 

Kalungi, a carpenter said he was arrested from Hoima and ferried to the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) in Kireka where he was tortured and forced to sign several documents. He denied signing the statement that the magistrate said he recorded while in his chambers at Buganda Road court. 

Court also heard that Kalungi was illiterate and didn’t understand English. It is upon this that justice Margret Mutonyi dismissed the statement, saying that it ought to have been written in a language, in which the accused and the magistrates held the said conversation. Kalungi’s lawyer Zimbe Zefania expressed gratitude that the judge had dismissed the statement. The case shall return on November 30 for the prosecution to present one other witness.

Source: The Observer

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