Uganda: Suspect Collapses, Dies in Court

21 January 2020

Business at the High Court in Mbale District in eastern Uganda temporarily came to a standstill after a suspect collapsed and died in the holding cells.

Simon Mayuya, 54, a resident of Mutimba village Buyobo Sub County in Sironko District collapsed on Monday and died moments before he was rushed to hospital.

Mayuya had been remanded to Maluku prisons for six months on charges of attempted murder.

He was accused of trying to kill his cousin who had employed him as a truck driver.

Mayuya's lawyer, David Moli said his client had been suffering from a spinal fracture, which he sustained in a car accident before he was arrested and remanded to prison.

Mr Moli added that when his client's condition started to deteriorate, he requested court to have him transferred from the prisons to a decent hospital where he could have access to better treatment before returning to court.

"It is today (Monday) that we were supposed to be in the courtroom for bail application. However, I was shocked to hear that my client had collapsed from the cells and hit his head on the chair before he died," Mr Moli said.

Mayuya's son, Tom Wetaka who witnessed the accident said, his father slid and fell hitting his head on the chair where one of the prison warders was seated.

"My father was sick and already weak. He was unable to walk properly without some sort of support. The prison warders were forcing him to rush at the same pace as other prisoners. That's when he lost balance and fell down. He wouldn't be dead if he had been supported to walk because even the prisoners knew he was sick," he said.

However, our efforts to get a comment from the spokesperson Uganda prisons service, Frank Baine were futile as our numerous phone calls on his known telephone number went unanswered.

By the time of filing this report, his relatives were waiting for the autopsy report to establish the exact cause of his death.

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