Family of Joan Kagezi Murder Suspect Demand His Release

1747 Views Kasese, Uganda

In short
Katos family claims that when they learnt of his transfer to Kasese, they started pleading with the authorities to release him on bond in vain.

The family of Godfrey Kato, a suspect in the murder of Principal State Attorney Joan Kagezi is protesting his continued detention without trial. Kagezi was gunned down by unidentified men riding on a motorcycle on March 30, 2015 when she stopped to buy groceries in Kiwatule on her way home.

Kato was picked up by Police from Kiteso boda boda stage in Kasese town on May 27 for his alleged involvement in the murder of Kagezi. He was locked up at Kasese Police Station before he was transferred to Kiwatule Police station in Kampala where he was charged with murder vide CRB 026/15.

His brother Horinola Kabukole says that Kato was moved to various police stations in Kampala. He says that after spending more than a month in various police cells in Kampala, Kato was transferred to Kasese Police Station where he remains to date. Kato's family claims that when they learnt of his transfer to Kasese, they started pleading with the authorities to release him on bond in vain.  

According to Kabukole, his brother had never stepped outside the boundaries of Kasese district before he was picked up by Police and transferred to Kampala. He now wants Police to arraign Kato in court or release him unconditionally. Leonardo Masereka, the suspect's father says his son is being pinned by the Police basing on the scars on his body. Masereka says Kato had a nasty motorcycle accident in February 2010, which left him with scars.

Uganda Radio Network tried in vain to speak to Kato at Kasese Central Police Station. Bob Kagarura, the Kasese District Police Commander says Police will not succumb to pressure from Kato's family to release him. He urges those agitating for Kato's release to put themselves in the shoes of Kagezi's family, which lost a dear one. He however, declined to explain why Kato they have failed to arraign Kato in court.

Fred Enanga, the Uganda Police Spokesperson told URN on phone that he wasn't aware of Kato's continued detention at Kasese Police Station. Enanga said all he knows is that Kato and other suspects were released from Nalufenya Police Station in Jinja but didn't have details of their whereabouts. He referred URN to Bakari Muga, the Rwenzori Region Police Spokesperson for details on the matter. 

Muga told URN that Kato's detention is a national mater since the murder victim was a high profile figure. He said investigations were still ongoing adding that once they are done, Kato will appear in court. Geoffrey Sibendire a Kasese based advocate has promised to take on Kato's matter should Police fail to act by the end of this week. 

According to Sibendire, he will apply for a production warrant in High court so that Kato is formally charged, to enable him apply for bail. URN has also learnt that various people including the leaders of Kiteso boda boda stage have recorded statements on the continued arrest of their colleague.