The High Court Criminal Division has remanded Brenda Nganzi and a soldier, Julius Arinda on charges of aggravated robbery and kidnap with the intent to get ransom. The suspectes have denied the charges.
The two will reappear in court on October 7th, 2020, as directed by Justice Wilson J. Kwesiga during a criminal session being held at Entebbe Chief Magistrates’ Court.
The court remanded them after the prosecution produced four witnesses and has four expert witnesses including a medical officer remaining to testify against the accused persons.
The prosecution says Arinda, a soldier attached to Uganda Peoples Defence Forces’ Marine Unit, and Nganzi robbed and kidnapped a one Victor Kibira in August 2017 in Entebbe Municipality.
Kibira narrated his ordeal in court.
He says the incident happened four days after he met Nganzi, who was aged 22 at the time, for the first time. It all started when he saw Nganzi walking on the road side in Najjanankumbi. He approached her and they exchanged contacts.
Then, within four days, Nganzi had asked Kibira for money before they had met the second time Kibira says he sent her 50,000 shillings thrice for upkeep and 20,000 shillings for Nganzi to refuel her vehicle on the night she would be meeting him at Fire and Ice Lounge. They would meet at 7pm at Fire and Ice Lounge is located in Katabi – Entebbe.
However, Kibira who an electrician in Najjanankumi and a resident of Bunono, in Katabi, says he was held up at work. As a result, he showed up at Fire and Ice after 10pm. Kibira says Nganzi had agreed to sleep at his home that night since it was already late. They would go to his place in Nganzi’s vehicle.
He therefore phoned Rajab Abdulhaq, also a resident of Bunono to pick him up and take him to Fire and Ice. Rajab is a boda boda rider.
By the time Kibira arrived at Fire and Ice Lunge, he found Nganzi had parked her car 400 metres from the lounge’s parking lot. Rajab told court that Kibira and Nganzi hugged and kissed and they thereafter sat in the car and drove off.
However, Rajab says Kibira called him around 3am. He wanted Rajab to send him 800,000 shillings urgently. Kibira had called him earlier on, asking for money and he sent 200,000 shillings to a certain MTN number, which he disclosed in court.
Arinda’s lawyer, Joseph Wanda, however noted that Rajab had told police that Kibira had asked for one million shillings and had therefor contradicted himself.
Meanwhile, Kibira’s workmate, Hassan Muluuta and friend Fred Ssango said Kibira also called them asking for money. Muluuta says he sent shillings 150,000 through a mobile money agent to an unknown number while Ssango sent shillings 380,000 to a certain MTN number. Muluuta says he worked with Kibira the day he was kidnapped. However, three days later, on a Monday, he tried to call Kibira in vain.
Muluuta however received a phone call from a one Lawrence, complaining that Kibira had called him and other people he knew for money. However, he was not picking up their calls. Muluuta says he also called Kibira in vain. When Lawrence called Kibira, however, he picked up, saying, send the money and hang up.
He adds that his captors released him only after he accepted to work with them. They dropped him in Bunono trading centre, where Ssango and Rajab found him. Ssango gave him some money for medical treatment and told him to first report the matter to the police. However, he claims police officers at Entebbe and Abayita Ababiri police stations ignored him. As a result, he talked to a soldier in the Special Forces Command-SFC who took on the matter and later informed the then Inspector General of Police Gen. Kale Kayihura.
Justice Kwesiga has now remanded the suspects to Kigo Prison.