Lwakataka Granted Bail

Rally driver Ponsiano Lwakataka is a free man after the Magistrates Court in Kalisizo on friday  released him on bail.

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Suzan Awidi, the Kalisizo Grade One Magistrate, granted Rwakataka and his right-hand man Abdallah Mukiibi bail during the hearing of the case.

The duo is charged with assault of Mikidadi Kabiito, a Special Police Constable attached to Sanje police post in Rakai district.

The incident occurred on 3rd March 2014 at Kanamiti village as Kabiito attempted to seize Lwakataka’s consignment of immature fish.

The duo applied for bail and its hearing has since been off and on until today.

However, shortly after they were granted bail in the assault case, Rachael Namazzi, the Resident State Attorney for Rakai District pulled out a file of murder charges to be read to Lwakataka once again.

Namazzi told court that Justice Mike Chibita, the Director of Public Prosecutions, had recalled the file for re-examination on Tuesday and returned on the same day with a delivery statement for court proceedings to continue.

In the file, Lwakataka is accused of killing Pastor Stephen Mugambe of Kyebe Pentecostal Church, together with four family members on January 13, 2013.

However, defense lawyers Hassan Khamba and Julius Turinawe faulted the delivery statement of the file that was presented to court by Namazzi.

Khamba argued that the document purported to be from the DPP’s office concerning the murder file was a duplicate because it was not stamped.

He also argued that there are very many abnormalities as far as the murder file is concerned.

He explained that Lwakataka was being charged jointly with other people who already appeared in a different court that remanded them. He further said that the same matter could not appear in different courts under the same file number with same accused persons.

He also said the file was too big for the DPP to peruse through and return it on the same day he received it. Khamba said that it is rare for such sensitive file to be read in a hasty for court to proceed.

He further appealed that criminal summons be made against Lwakataka so as to appear in the same court where his co-accused were charged.

In response, Namazzi told court that she received the delivery document from DPP Mike Chibita but Suzan Awidi, the presiding magistrate later dismissed the delivery report and the file for lack of proof and other inconsistencies.

She granted bail to Lwakataka after ruling that no murder charges should be read against him until further direction from the DPP. She appealed to the prosecution to put its house in order to avoid tricky situations.

The accused had four sureties who stood for him. Awidi granted the accused a cash bail of 500,000 shillings while his sureties were bonded at one million shillings not cash.

The matter was adjourned until 7th August 2014. As a result, further hearing of the assault case was set for 7th August 2013 and the second prosecution witness is expected to appear then.