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Hospitalized Widow and Daughter Summoned Again in Murder Case, Court Rejects Arrest Warrant

hospitalized widow and daughter summoned again in murder case court rejects arrest warrant
hospitalized widow and daughter summoned again in murder case court rejects arrest warrant

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The Nakawa Chief Magistrate’s Court has issued a second set of criminal summons against Molly Katanga and her daughter, Martha Nkwanzi, in connection with the murder of businessman Henry Katanga. The Chief Magistrate, Erias Kakooza, took this action after the accused failed to appear in court as initially summoned on November 21, 2023.

The summons were issued following the remand of three co-accused, including the deceased’s daughter, Patricia Kakwanzi, George Amanyire, and Nursing Officer Otai Charles. They face charges ranging from destroying evidence to being accessories after the fact (of murder).

According to the prosecution, Molly Katanga shot her husband, Henry Katanga, on November 2, 2023, at Mbuya Chwa Two Road, Nakawa Division, Kampala. The daughters, Nkwanzi Martha Katanga and Kakwanza Patricia, are accused of removing or destroying evidence at the crime scene.

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On Monday, Molly Katanga and Nkwanzi did not appear in court, citing their hospitalization at International Hospital in Kampala (IHK) and Roswell Women and Children Hospital, respectively. Their legal team, consisting of Elison Karuhanga, Bruce Musinguzi, and Jet Tumwebaze, presented a letter and images explaining Molly Katanga’s injuries and ongoing medical treatment.

The defense argued that Molly Katanga suffered severe head and brain injuries along with a hand fracture, necessitating continued medical supervision. Nkwanzi, having recently given birth at Roswell Hospital, was reported to be experiencing postpartum effects, requiring close medical attention.

While the defense assured the court of their intention to bring the accused as soon as they are well, the prosecution requested a warrant of arrest, citing non-compliance and ongoing investigations. However, the Chief Magistrate declined to issue an arrest warrant and extended the criminal summons, setting a new appearance date for January 8, 2024.

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The court session witnessed a silent demonstration by Katanga’s relatives, wearing T-shirts and holding placards, demanding justice for the deceased. Meanwhile, the court refused to hear a bail application for the three accused persons, directing them to apply in the High Court, which handles capital offenses.

The legal proceedings also revealed the hiring of former Deputy Attorney General Mwesigwa Rukutana by the deceased’s mother and uncles to represent them in court. The defense team raised objections, accusing them of hijacking the trial from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and insinuating potential revenge from within the state.

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Additionally, an application for an inquest is pending before the Civil Division of the High Court, filed by Brigadier General Freddie Karara Machwa and Bwaniaga Moses Taremwa. They seek an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding Henry Katanga’s death, alleging a cover-up by high-ranking military and police officials.

Henry Katanga and Molly Katanga were involved in supplying items to key government agencies, including the Ministry of Defense. Katanga, an Ankole prince, enjoyed close ties with government and security officials.