The trial Judge Margret Mutonyi adjourned the case of murdering former police boss Muhammad Kirumira and his female friend Resty Nalinya, to March 13 for submission.This was after one of the suspects named Abubaker Kalunji told court on February 27 that he confessed to the crime under compulsion to security operatives.
The duo was gunned down by unknown people on 8th, September 2018 in Bulenga Wakiso district.
Ushered in by his lawyer Zimbe Zefania, the 50-year-old carpenter and father of eight Abubakar Kalungi claimed that “security operatives threatened to behead him if he made any resistance in signing various documents accepting the crime.
[Further defending himself, Kalungi a resident in Ndejje-Kibutika, Wakiso District, portrayed his arrest in the mid-western Uganda in Buliisa district where he had been taken by a client to roof a house.
He says, from here, he was captured, his phone and 200,000 shillings he had on him taken and his head covered that he couldn’t recognize anything. He was tortured while in transit, he says.
“They handcuffed me and covered my face. They led me on where to step as we walked up some steps,” narrates Kalungi who says he was led to a place he later identified as the headquarters of the Chieftain of Military Intelligence-CMI, Mbuya.
After they had removed the head cuffs, he was asked to look through the window and identify the far place he could see. It was Banda, he says. He was then asked if he could tell where he was and when he responded that it’s Mbuya, his captors affirmed it.
When he was arrested, Kalungi says he met two men only identified as Captain Okumu and also Wolimbwa. The following days after arrest were characterized by further beatings and torture. He narrates how he was tortured to a level of losing skin on his forehead, his fingers cut with razor blades and his palms pierced with needles. He says during the torture, he was asked to confess to the murder of Kirumira or incriminate someone else.
“They told me I killed Kirumira and I told them I hadn’t. They tortured me until I lost conscious, when I regained, my head was spinning and my lips cracked from torture,” narrates Kalungi. He says some of his captors would return after the torture sessions and encourage him to incriminate someone like Hamza Mwebe and Badru Kateregga (who was killed by security when they went to arrest him over the same case) if he won’t confess.
He was also asked to incriminate a police officer with whom they once shared a room as captives. He says they threatened to kill him by chopping off his head. Kalungi narrates that they kept him under darkness and would come occasionally to ask that he signs some documents. He was forced to append his finger print since he couldn’t sign due to injuries on his hands, he says.
Prosecution led by Thomas Jatiko asked Kalungi if he killed Kirumira and Nalinya, if he knew Mwebe and Kateregga and if he or his friends belonged to the rebel group Allied Democratic Forces. Kalungi denied killing Kirumira or Nalinya, denied knowing Mwebe or Kateregga and denied being part of ADF or any of his friends being part of the organisation.
Kalungi says on the day Kirumira was killed, the news of which he learnt through CBS radio, he had worked in the neighborhood at Hajj Kiwuwa’s house, roofing his house and later returned home.
His wife, Halima Naggita was the second witness. She told court that her husband had slept at home and left for work at Hajji Kiwuwa’s house and later returned home where he slept on the day Kirumira was announced murdered. Defence Counsel Zefania Zimbe has said he would present four witnesses but later settled for two saying they would suffice.
The case resumes on 13th March 2023 as prosecution and defense make their submissions and prayers.