Cannibalism Suspects Receive Hostile Reception During Court Appearance

13 people accused of attempted murder, cannibalism and the disappearance of a woman and her child have been remanded to Masaka prison.

This morning, police brought all the suspects to Kalisizo Magistrates court amidst tight security.  They were then charged with murder and attempted murder under CRB-RKI 474/14.

They include Asafu Tumuhimbise (50), Bosco Ssegirinya (59), Alex Ssebala (20), Aloyisius Kasujja (15), Mike Kabito (24), Ronald Ssebufu (25), Peregirino Mpozza (54), Alex Ssemyalo (29).

Others are Ramka Kaweesa (52), Ismail Ssekyanzi (42), Joziveriti Nuwagaba (38), Elimerida Nalubega (46) and Anna Maria Nabukenya.

They were appearing in court before Susan Awidi, the Kalisizo Grade One Magistrate.

Prosecution led by Mariam Akite appealed to the magistrate not to allow the suspects to take plea because of the nature of their crime.

The presiding magistrate said the nature of their crime was beyond her jurisdiction and remanded them to Masaka Government Prison until 22nd May 2014 when they are expected to appear in high court.

The suspects are accused of hacking to death and eating a 21-year old woman Peace Alinaitwe and her nine months old baby. Her husband Deus Bandihihi Kamuniini barely escaped with his life in Rakai, where the incident occurred.

Bandihihi is the key witness against the suspects and did not appear in court today. Detectives said Bandihihi had been moved to a safer location after unknown persons made an attempt on his life in a lodge in Rakai where he had been staying on Tuesday after his ordeal.

Bandihihi’s attackers attempted to strangle him in his room before he raised an alarm that brought other occupants rushing to his aid. Following his discharge from Rakai hospital, Bandihihi has since been in the safe custody of Kooki-County MP Amos Mandela.

Bandihihi and his wife Alinaitwe were originally from Kankamba village, Kisekka Sub-county, Lwengo district . Stranded in Rakai, after a funeral, they had sought shelter for the night at Kyakirugu village LCI chairman Asaf Tumuhimbise’s house.

Bandihihi’s wife Alinaitwe lost her life that night March 23, 2014 in Kyakirugu village.

A huge crowd turned up to witness the appearance of the suspects in court. There was tension as police and prison warders struggled to maintain order and calm.

Grumbling inmates making their appearance along the cannibalism suspects insisted on a distance between themselves and the suspects in the court cells.

Several inmates shouted that if the cannibalism suspects were remanded to Kalisizo prison, they would be killed by other inmates. A fight broke out briefly when prison warders insisted on maintaining silence among the waiting inmates.