By Barbra Kabahumuza
The Buganda Road Chief Magistrate’s Court has for the second time remanded a street beggar who was arrested at Kalungi Plaza on Johnson Street in Kampala, to Luzira Prison on charges of being in illegal possession of a firearm
Last month, Hamuza Farouk Kintu aka Tonny Mayambala Mugabi appeared before Grade One Magistrate, Siena Owomugisha, who read out two counts of unlawful possession of government stores contrary to sections 316(2) and Section 22 of the Penal Code Act.
The 43-year-old Kintu denied the charges.
On Tuesday, May 30, when the case came up for hearing of a bail application, Grade One Magistrate Asuman Muhumuza informed the court that the trial magistrate Owomugisha was indisposed.
Muhumuza adjourned the case to June 20, 2023.
The last time the accused person appeared in court, State Attorney Lydia Nakato informed the court that investigations were complete and they were ready for the trial.
Court documents indicate that Kintu was found in possession of a revolver pistol and a spy device among other items without a valid license.
Under the law, it is an offence for civilians to hold any form of a firearm without a valid license.
The prosecution alleges that in the month of April 2023, at Kalungi Plaza on Johnstone Street in Kampala Central Division, Kintu was found in possession of a firearm without a valid certificate.
It is further alleged that at Biina Upper Zone in Nakawa Division, Kintu was also found in possession of Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) uniform, Uganda Police Force boots, a UPDF rain jacket bearing the mark applied under the UPDF and UPF, yet he is neither a policeman of a soldier.
The prosecution suspects that Kintu stole the said items or unlawfully obtained them.
Those who knew Kintu prior to his arrest said he did not have many friends and that every day, with the help of a young man, he boards a taxi to the city centre, paying sh4,000 together with his wheelchair and the helper.
For a return journey, Kintu would part with sh8,000, which he would pay promptly and he never asked the taxi man for a free ride.
On some days, they say, he would give out cash to children, but this would be interpreted as a sacrifice, normally done by Muslims with cash or those seeking blessings from God.
However, sometimes he would be heard barking at children, especially when they entered his rental house without his permission.
He resented anyone entering his house.
He rents at the home of Hajati Hawa Namubiru who owns over 10 rental rooms in her backyard.
But what has been puzzling neighbours is that despite appearing to be needy, Kintu has always paid his rental dues in advance, in a lump sum of 12 months. It was revealed that he pays sh120,000 per month but would be the first to clear his entire bill.
“Some of us sometimes fail to pay rent for even one month, but he would always pay 12 months in advance for his two-roomed house, so, what else does he do, apart from begging,” a female neighbour, who confessed that she has always questioned whether Kintu is an ordinary beggar, asked.
She added that Kintu hires two workers for whom he pays a monthly allowance, one is a maid and another is a helper to push him around.
His maid identified as Grace, was arrested by the Police last month, a day after a search of his house, but his helper called Tembo from Kasese, eluded arrest but was last sighted at Kirombe Zone in Luzira.
“We wish that the boy is also arrested because he has a lot of information that he has been sharing with friends, indicating that his boss has been in possession of an AK47, a pistol and a magazine,” one of the residents said.
Neighbours also say Tembo and several other young men who have been working for Kintu have a lot of information about his mysterious lifestyle
They say sometimes he would move out of his house with some big luggage wrapped around his wheelchair.