Police concludes fresh investigations into 2013 Rakai murders
Fresh investigations into the gruesome murder of Pastor Stephen Mugambe and eight members of his family in Kanabulemu parish in Kyebe Sub-county in the newly created Kyotera district six years ago have been completed, URN has learnt.
The other victims are pastor Mugambe’s wife, Noelina Nalinya, Jane Nakiwala, Bena Nakivumbi, Max Nakirijja, Christine Nasimbwa, Dan Ssemwanga, Andrew Mpeirwe and Maria Nakajugo.
The nine were butchered by unknown assailants, who broke into Pastor’s Mugambe’s home at Mutegombwa village on January 13, 2013.
Police opened murder investigations under CRB O15/13 at Kasensero police station, which led to the arrest of several suspects including prominent rally driver, Ponsiano Rwakataka.
The others were Emmanuel Zzinda, Asuman Muddu and Vincent Fagensi, a Tanzanian national. Muddu, the key suspect in the case pleaded guilty to the crime before Masaka High court and was handed a life sentence on July 06, 2015.
Maddu’s co-accused pleaded not guilty to the charges, saying they had nothing to do with the gruesome murder. Although he had initially confessed to the murder, saying it was masterminded by Rwakataka; Muddu made a U-turn and retracted his original confession.
Justice John Eudes Keitirima acquitted Rwakataka and Zzinda on December 23, 2015 followed by Fagensi, few weeks later. Keitirima said prosecution had failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt and lacked corroborative evidence on the record.
The deceased’s family, residents and district leaders protested the acquittal on grounds that the evidence and facts were tampered with prompting CID to open fresh investigations.
Now, Grace Akullo, the Director-Criminal Investigations Department, says the department concluded its investigations recently and sent the file to the DPP for review and recommendation.
She however, didn’t disclose their findings not to jeopardize the case. Benedict Odyek, the Deputy Assistant Inspector of Police (D/AIP) who is the case in-charge, together with his team have been investigating the file since July this year.
According to Odyek, they have managed to collect relevant information and new evidence in the case.
On September 18, 2019 the Director Public Prosecution Mike Chibita wrote to Akullo, saying the case had earlier been reviewed and couldn’t be revived either by way of an appeal or revision due to the retraction of Muddu’s confession and lack of corroborative evidence.
However, the DPP instructed Akullo to reinvestigate the file and include all key and relevant evidence to prosecute the case. In the same letter, the DPP noted that they learnt that Rwakataka was using police and other law enforcement agencies to harass relatives of the deceased.
Willy Kalyango, one of the family members, says the fresh investigation into the case has given them hope for justice.