8 January 2013

Uganda: Kalungi Gets Lawyers, Pleads Not Guilty

Adam Suleiman Kalungi, accused number one in the death of Butaleja Woman MP Cerinah Nebanda Arioru has been charged with manslaughter and remanded to Luzira prison.

Kalungi appeared before Makindye Chief Magistrate Esther Nambayo who read three charges against him. Manslaughter carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment upon conviction or by an own plea of guilt. The other charges are unlawful possession of narcotic drugs, contrary to sections 47 (1) and 60 (2) of the National Drug Policy and Authority, Act Cap 206 and supply of the restricted drug.

Kalungi was led to Makindye under tight security in a Toyota Premio UAM 159W. His presence attracted the attention of neighbours who craned their necks to take a look at the man who is accused of causing the death of his girlfriend Nebanda. He was taken into a packed courtroom and sat between two plain-clothed detectives who refused him to talk to anyone.

Dressed in green pants, a checkered shirt, brown jacket and snickers, he remained silent as he looked around the courtroom. Kalungi had the previous day pleaded guilty to manslaughter but before he could continue, Nambayo stopped him because he did not have any legal representation.

Nambayo refused to record the guilty plea and remanded him to Luzira prison. After finally securing a team of four lawyers, Kalungi was brought back and this time changed his plea to not guilty on all three counts.

The charges

Prosecution alleges in the first count consented to by the Director of Public prosecutions Richard Buteera on January 7, 2013, that Kalungi alias Luli, a resident of Kiruddu Buziga in Makindye division, unlawfully caused the death of Nebanda. When the same charge was read to him yesterday, Kalungi, who was now represented by Counsels Kandeebe Ntambirweki, Lenato Kania and Duncan Ondimu, pleaded not guilty. He also pleaded not guilty to two other charges.

He is charged with three other. On another count of unlawful possession of narcotic drugs, prosecution alleges that during the period between September and December last year within Kampala district, Kalungi without lawful excuse, had in his possession narcotic drugs. During the same period Kalungi, Khan Babu Abdul, Noor Abu bakar, Abid Rashid Bull alias Ikabar and Fatuma Babu alias Tuma all from various places in Makindye division, supplied the same drugs contrary to Section 13(1) and Section 60(2) of the National Drug Policy and Authority Act.

After pleading not guilty to all counts, the State prosecutor, Samalie Wakoli, told court that investigations in the case are ongoing.

Kandeebe told court that they were not ready to apply for bail until January 15, 2013 when all the accused persons now on remand come up for mention of their case.

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