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Kirumira murder trial: Airtel boss testifies

by Editorial Team
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By Farooq Kasule

A security manager at Airtel Uganda Limited has testified that the two men standing trial over the murder of former Buyende District police officer, Assistant Superintendent of Police Muhammad Kirumira were in constant communication during and after the murder.

Abubakar Kalungi and Hamza Mwebe are standing trial over the murder while Abdul Kateregga, the alleged master-minder of the murder was shot dead as he allegedly tried to evade arrest in October 2018.

Kirumira was murdered in cold blood together with mobile money dealer Resty Nalinya Mbabazi in the city suburbs of Bulenga on the September 8, 2018, as he (Kirumira) drove his car registration number UAJ 228V.  

The murder suspects in the Kirumira murder trial, Hamuza Mwebe and Abubaker Kalungi. File photo

Testifying as prosecution witness number fourteen before trial judge Margert Mutonyi on Monday,Francis Kabera revealed that the suspects used telephone numbers 0702843480, 0752537986 and 0700384826 during their conversation.

Kabera, however, said they cannot tell the exact location of the customers but they only depend on the mast on which one is using to communicate.

“My lord, the location we give is probable and it is the police which has better technology which can ably tell the exact location of someone such as the Global Positioning System (GPS). What we do is to have a probable location,” Kabera said.

Further probed by the judge on whether it is possible to extract the Short Message Service (SMS) which the suspects allegedly exchanged, he replied, “My Lord, it is not possible.”

Kabera, however, fumbled during cross-examination by defence lawyer Zefaniya Zzimbe as he failed to make an explanation regarding disparity in call data print outs tabled in court. 

For example, the call data print out for the alleged Simcard belonging to the accused completely didn’t match.

When probed by the judge on what could have caused the disparity, he said, “My Lord, I can’t tell.”

Following the glaring disparity in the call data records which Kabera said were the original print-outs, the prosecution led by Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Thomas Jatiko and chief state attorney Joseph Kyomuhendo didn’t re-examine him as the practice in criminal prosecution.

The case 

Prosecution alleges that the duo and others still at large on September 8, 2018, murdered Kirumira and Mbabazi.

Court documents indicate that Kalungi and Mwebe were arrested after police trailed their movements and communication between places of Mpigi, Gulu, Adjumani, Hoima and Namungoona through Mobile phone data.

In its evidence, prosecution also links the accused to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebel outfit on grounds that telephone printouts showed that they were in constant communication with ADF operatives who are believed to have orchestrated several high-profile murders in the country.  Ends

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