Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /usr/www/users/urnnet/a/story.php on line 43
Molly Katanga Denied Bail on Murder Charges :: Uganda Radionetwork
Breaking

Molly Katanga Denied Bail on Murder Charges

Before being committed to the High court and later remanded to Luzira Women’s Prison, she says she had spent over two months at C-Care IHK hospital receiving specialized treatment and underwent five major surgeries to her scalp and hands.
Molly Katanga in a wheelchair in Court. File Photo.


The High Court  in Kampala has declined to temporarily release Molly Katanga who was seeking to gain freedom as she faces charges of murdering her husband businessman Henry Katanga.

Criminal Division Judge Isaac Muwata on Tuesday denied Molly Bail on grounds that she has not proved exceptional circumstances as required under the law such as being of advanced age and having grave illnesses which cannot be managed in prison.

Molly who has today appeared before Court  on zoom connecting to court  from Luzira Women's Prison through her lawyers; Peter Kabatsi, McDusman Kabega, Jet Tumwebaze, Bruce Musinguzi, and Ellison Karuhanga applied for bail last month saying she is ready to abide by all terms set by Court.

She presented her  nephew, Dr Patrick Kabayo, a retired civil servant, Rtd Gen Emmanuel Burundi Nyamwanisa, a farmer in Nyabusozi in Kiruhura, her cousin  businessman Geoffrey Kamuntu, and the state minister for Health Margaret Muhanga as her sureties.

Molly's lawyers then  told the Judge that their client was innocent of the charges preferred against her. According to Molly, before being committed to the High court and later remanded to Luzira Women’s Prison, she had spent over two months at C-Care IHK hospital where she received specialized treatment and underwent five major surgeries to her scalp and hands.

She added that the injuries require a lot of specialized post-operative care for her recovery, which is not available in prison. She argued that she was at all times under detention while in C-Care IHK hospital where she was admitted for treatment on November 2, 2024, and couldn't be accessed by any of her relatives and friends without permission from the Uganda police force.  

  

According to the accused, she has a fixed place of abode at Mbuya I, Mbuya Hill village, Nakawa Division, and Kampala district within the jurisdiction of the High court. Mrs Katanga also noted that investigations into the case were completed and as such, she has no capacity and shall not interfere with the investigations and witnesses once released on bail. She added that she is of advanced age (55 years), has always been a law-abiding citizen, and has never been charged or convicted of any criminal offence.   

She thus asked court to release her saying that although she is gainfully employed, she is the sole breadwinner of her family and the mother of a child of tender years who is dependent on her. 

However, the Prosecution led by Jonathan Muwaganya Chief State Attorney, and Samalie Wakooli opposed the application arguing that the sureties presented were not substantial since two of them were of advanced age.

Muwaganya also said that one of the sureties Kamuntu is under investigation for obstructing the police from doing their lawful duty about the investigations in the case and is being investigated under SD 14/12/12/2023. 

Muwaganya said that Molly was admitted at IHK hospital under a private special arrangement for protection by officers of Special Forces Command (SFC) attached to Kamuntu, and this deployment impeded and obstructed police investigations in the main case. 

Muwaganya said if such a person is capable of obstructing at the stage of investigations, the risk is even higher now that the case is set for hearing on July 2nd, 2024. He asked Court to prioritize hearing of the main case.

The court also heard that by the time Molly was arraigned, she had been fully discharged from the hospital and she had previously shown that she was incapable of honouring the court process, having appeared in court following a warrant of arrest by the Chief Magistrate's court.

 

In his ruling, Justice Muwata has indicated that whereas an accused person has a right to apply for bail,  court can grant bail on terms it finds reasonable.

He said the Court must consider the  gravity of the offence and it's impact in the society before granting bail and then go ahead to strike a balance between the two, also while considering the Bail Guidelines of 2022  which provide that  while granting bail, Court must consider  the right to liberty of the accused person, the need to balance rights of  the accused person, the interests of justice and if there is a certificate of no objection from the DPP and proof of exceptional circumstances.

Justice Muwata noted that the Trial Indictments Act explains exceptional circumstances as  grave illnesses which can't be treated in prisons which can only be proved by a report from the medical personnel in a prison facility where an accused person is.

In this case, the Court has heard that Molly presented  medical letters from Dr Patrick  Sekindi  and Dr Joel Kiryabwire  dated  November 13th 2023  from C Care IHK  assessing her medical condition and her  lawyers requested for a further comprehensive examination about her health from Mulago Hospital.

However, according to the Judge, all the said letters fall short of what is required under the law.  Justice Muwata has indicated that it is the Prison's  Medical officer who is required to prove that one's condition cannot be handled.

On the issue of advanced age,  the Judge has ruled that Molly is only 55 years old and therefore, she is not of advanced age. 

He added that Molly  is already committed for trial and there is no likelihood for delay. Although the Court has found Molly's sureties to be substantial, he explained that the circumstances doesn't warrant them to be considered. He said the ends of Justice must be served and went ahead to dismiss Molly's application with advice that she should prepare for trial of the murder case against her which is already fixed for hearing on July 2nd 2024.

While denying her bail, Justice Muwata also borrowed precedents in the case in which businessman Francis Onebe was denied bail on charges of murdering his wife.

Prosecution states that businessman Katanga was shot dead by his wife Molly on November 2, 2023, at their home on Chwa II Road in Kampala.  

The prosecution further contends that Katanga's daughters Patrica Kakwanzi and Martha Nkwazi destroyed valuable evidence that they would use to prove their father's murder while the family's shamba boy George Amanyire and a male nurse Charles Otai are charged with being accessories after the murder. 

 

The four suspects were granted bail in February 2024 at Shs 2 million by the same Judge who has denied Molly bail.