The International Crimes Division of the High Court has issued a warrant of arrest for Shafic Kasujja, one of the eight suspects implicated in the murder of former Police Spokesperson Andrew Felix Kaweesi.
Kasujja has been absconding from trial and failed to attend court, resulting in the court issuing a warrant of arrest.
On Tuesday, the Court presided over by Lady Justice Alice Komuhangi Khaukha, issued the warrant of arrest against Kasujja following a successful request by the Prosecution led by State Attorney Richard Birivumbuka.
Kaweesi was shot dead on March 17th, 2017, together with his bodyguard Kenneth Erau and driver Godfrey Mambewa.
Eight people were arrested and charged with murder, aggravated robbery, terrorism, aiding and abetting terrorism, and belonging to a terrorist organization, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).
The other suspects are Abdulrashid Mbaziira, Hamza Higenyi, Yusuf Mugerwa, Bruhan Balyejjusa, Joshua Kyambadde, Jibril Kalyango, and Yusuf Nyanzi. All accused persons were present in court except Kasujja, who was granted bail but has since not returned to court.
The Prosecution led by Birivumbuka informed the court that Kasujja was granted bail about four years ago but absconded from trial and has not attended court for over one year.
Birivumbuka said that when the court issued a criminal summons on May 2nd, 2023, requiring Kasujja to attend court, the summon was retrieved and taken by Police Officer Detective AIP Benard Kimutwa who proceeded to effect service.
Kimutwa went to Kasujja’s place of abode towards the Kitintale side, and the Local Council One of the areas where Kasujja was residing informed him that the suspect disappeared from the village sometime back together with his family members.
Kimutwa also found the house where Kasujja used to stay was locked and abandoned. The Chairperson of LC One told the Police Officer that a relative of Kasujja, Ziwa Muzamiru, reported to Kitintale Police Station about his disappearance.
Kimutwa proceeded to Kitintale Police and found that a case of disappearance had been reported under reference number 42/21/22/12/2021.
Although the court had issued a criminal summons to Kasujja’s sureties requiring them to come to court and explain his whereabouts, Detective AIP Kimutwa got into an accident on his way to Lwengo District, where they are residing, and didn’t serve them.
The Prosecution has looked for Kasujja everywhere in Police Custody in Uganda but hasn’t traced him.
They have information that he has since reunited with the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a gazetted terrorist group in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo. As a result, the Prosecution asked the Court to issue a warrant of arrest against Kasujja.
On his part, the Defense lawyer Geoffrey Turyamusiima, who also represents Kasujja, said in the interest of justice and a right to a fair hearing, he had no objection to the issuance of a warrant of arrest against his client.
He explained that this is because the other suspects who are on remand want their cases heard and determined expeditiously.
As a result, Judge Komuhangi issued a warrant of arrest against Kasujja. She adjourned the case until May 23rd, 2023.
The Judge has also further sent back on remand three of the accused persons who have been in prison on other charges.
One of the suspects in this case Nyanzi appears on three files containing capital offenses and high-profile murders. He was first arrested in early 2017, on charges of killing the former Police Spokesperson Kaweesi, his bodyguard and driver.
He was later charged with the murder of Major Muhammad Kiggundu and his bodyguard Sergent Steven Mukasa on November 26th, 2016 in Masanafu, a Kampala city suburb.
Barely a year after his release on bail by Lady Justice Lydia Mugambe, security rearrested Nyanzi from his home in Kisaasi Kyanja in connection with the attempted murder of Works and Transport Minister, General Edward Katumba Wamala and the murder of his daughter Brenda Nantongo Wamala and driver, Haruna Kayondo on June 1st, 2021.
He remains on remand to date. Aramazan Noordin Higenyi alias Taata Abdallazack and Abdurashid Mbaziira alias Buyondo Muhammed were given bail on the Kaweesi murder file but remain on remand to date on another file involving child trafficking charges, which are pending before the Mukono Court. URN