Log in
Updated today

Katanga murder: Wife Molly denies all charges

Molly Katanga in court

Molly Katanga in court

Key suspect Molly Katanga has denied murdering her late husband Henry Katanga last year.

Molly is jointly accused with her two daughters; Patricia Kankwanzi and Martha Nkwanzi who are specifically charged with destroying and tampering with the murder scene to conceal valuable evidence. The family's shamba boy, George Amanyire and a nursing officer Charles Otai, have also been charged with being an accessory after the fact of murder.

All the suspects denied the charges against them when the matter came up today at the criminal division of the High court presided over by justice Isaac Muwata. Court heard that on November 2, 2023, at Mbuya, Chwa II, in Nakawa Division, Kampala with malice aforethought, Molly shot dead her husband, Henry Katanga.

Prior, proceedings were temporarily halted as court sought the services of a Rutoro language interpreter after one of the accused persons, Amanyire said he prefers the trial to be conducted in Rutoro, a language he understands best. A female VIP bodyguard, Advance Ayesigwa attached to the Counter Terrorism of Police was brought as the interpreter for proceedings to continue. The prosecution was led by Samalie Wakooli, the assistant director of public prosecutions, chief state attorney Jonathan Muwaganya and Annah Kiiza.

Several lawyers who included the former deputy attorney general Mwesigwa Rukutana, Brian Rubaihayo and Edgar Ayebazibwe were on watching brief. The court again took a second break after prosecutor, Wakooli asked to amend the charge sheet so that it could be aligned properly with the sections governing the Trial and Indictments Act.

Wakooli asked for a few minutes to allow her to include in the charge sheet the exact evidence that was tampered with by Molly's co-accused and also to add them (co-accused) on new counts. However, when court resumed after the second break, the prosecution informed the court that they wanted Molly's co-accused to each appear on two charges of destroying evidence and also of being an accessory after the fact of murder.  The accused each has one count at the moment. 

However, in response, the accused person's lawyers including Macdusman Kabega, Bruce Musinguzi Ellison Karuhanga and Peter Kabatsi who led them objected to the amendment. Kabatsi said they had no objection to the supply of the items that were destroyed as well as the clarification sought to be made in the third count of being an accessory after the fact of murder. However, they objected to charging their clients with a new offence which they were not committed to face in court. 

"In other words, a person who was not properly charged and committed to the High court cannot be smuggled," said Kabatsi.

The lawyers argued that there shall be no alterations to an indictment or else it would be prejudicial and hence an injustice to the accused persons. They prayed that the amendment and subsequent alteration be rejected, adding that the amendment of charges cannot happen at this stage.

However, in response, the prosecution insisted that amendment happens at any stage and the merits of this case require them to do so. According to Wakooli, it will meet the ends of justice if the amendment is allowed.

"My lord, there is no injustice that will be occasioned if the trial hasn't started. Secondly, my lord, the exception read as evidence is not disclosed in the summary. The summary is already on the court record which the accused are privy to," said Wakooli.

Meanwhile, Molly asked to be tried via Zoom, saying that she has hardship in climbing stairs while coming to the High courtroom. The court has no ramps for people who use wheelchairs. But in response, justice Muwata indicated that they have not yet decided on who should be charged, and who shouldn't on some charges and thus advised her to return tomorrow for his ruling on the matter.

Molly who was wheeled to court in a wheelchair by the safety and security unit (SSU), the elite force of the prison services, remains on remand at Luzira women's prison while her co-accused were granted bail about four months ago. Shortly after the shooting of Katanga, his wife Molly was found covered in a pool of blood and a vegetative state under unclear circumstances before she was rushed to International Hospital Kampala (IHK) where the court records indicate she underwent five major surgeries on her head. 

Molly was hospitalized for about two months before her production in Nakawa Chief Magistrate's court which committed her to the High court for trial. She made attempts to be temporarily released on bail without success on two separate occasions. Evidence before the court indicates that Molly was found to suffer from hypertension with multiple breast masses, paranasal sinusitis, vertigo, and post-traumatic stress disorder. 

According to prison doctors, the findings of the reevaluation of Molly revealed that she "has not received trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy and no follow-up services by an ENT surgeon to address her paranasal sinusitis and vertigo as recommended on the treatment plan from Mulago National hospital in their report dated February 8, 2024.

Comments are now closed for this entry