Land Dispute: Five Charged in Mubende Couple Murder

Saturday, August 12, 2023
Benjamin Tumusiime , the prime suspect in the murder of couple in Mubende District over land arrives at court on August 11, 2023. PHOTO/COURTESY
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Mubende, Uganda | The Black Examiner – Five individuals allegedly involved in the murder of a couple in central Uganda over a land dispute have been formally charged and subsequently remanded to Kaweeri Prison in Mubende District.

The accused, comprising Benjamin Tumusiime (identified as the primary suspect), Prince Lukundo, John Birigye, Milly Kasemeyire, and Zaina Kakayire, appeared before Grade One Magistrate Hillary Kiwanuka on Friday. They stand accused of the murder of 53-year-old Milly Naava Namutebi and her 54-year-old husband Abudallah Kayizzi.

As per court records, on July 31, 2023, the suspects, led by Tumusiime and others who remain at large, allegedly launched a fatal assault on Namutebi and Kayizzi. The victims, residents of Kirwanyi Village in Mubende District’s Kiruuma Sub County, were attacked at 8 a.m. while on their way to the fields along with their two children.

Additionally, the accused face charges related to the attempted murder of Ibrahim Kavuma and Muzafaru Ssekamate, both residing within the same village, on the same day.

The court also heard that on July 31, 2023, two of the suspects, namely Milly Kasemeyire and Zaina Kakayire, concealed Tumusime and Birigye in their village of Kaggo-Kyokolera in Kasangati, Wakiso District. This act was reportedly done with the knowledge that the duo were implicated in the deaths of Namutebi and Kayiizi, thus contravening the law.

The deaths of the victims have been attributed to a long-standing land dispute dating back to 2011 between Namutebi, the landowner, and the occupying tenants.

The contested land spans 3 square miles and encompasses 12 villages, including Kirwanyi, Kituule, Kamwaza, Kayunga, Kyalonaka, and Kiyuni, among others.

During the proceedings on Friday, the presiding magistrate refrained from allowing the suspects to enter a plea, citing the court’s lack of jurisdiction in this matter.

“This court lacks the authority to entertain your plea. Such jurisdiction rests solely with the High Court. Nonetheless, I advise you to seek bail from the High Court if you so desire,” Magistrate Kiwanuka commented.

Mubende District State Attorney Jacqueline Akao informed the court that investigations into the case are still ongoing. The magistrate subsequently ordered the remand of the accused until September 15, when they are scheduled to reappear in court for the mention of their case.



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