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Henry Katanga: Widow, daughter, three others charged over murder of city businessman

Kampala, (UG): Molly Katanga, her daughter Patricia Kakwanza and three other suspects have been charged over the murder of businessman Henry Katanga, who was found dead inside his bedroom at his Mbuya residence earlier this month.

In a statement issued on Tuesday afternoon, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Jane Frances Abodo sanctioned the charge of murder against Molly Katanga, the widow and prominent military contractor alongside four others “in respect to the death of her husband Henry Katanga”

Additionally, the DPP also “sanctioned the charge of destroying evidence against her two daughters; Kakwanza Patricia, 29, and Nkwanzi Martha Katanga, 26, “for tampering with the evidence at the crime scene.”

Other people charged with assisting the suspects escape punishment include Dr Charles Otai, a medical doctor who reportedly arrived at the home of the deceased businessman immediately after his fatal shooting, and a 30-year-old domestic worker George Amanyire, then a casual labourer at the businessman’s residence.

The trio, however, denied the charges and were sent to Luzira Prison until December 04, 2022.

The Charges

According to the charge sheet presented to the court by state prosecution, Molly, the widow of the deceased businessman, is charged with the murder of her husband.

It is alleged that on November 2, 2023, at Mbuya Chwa 2 Road, Nakawa Division, with malice aforethought, she killed her husband.

Katanga died on November 2 following an alleged fight with his wife in their bedroom. His body was later found by police- placed on a small mattress in a living room.

Under the second count of destroying evidence, prosecution alleges that Patricia and Martha on the same day, knowing that things at the scene of the crime may be required in evidence in a judicial proceeding, removed or destroyed them or rendered them illegible or undecipherable or incapable of identification.

DPP claims that the duo had the intention to prevent them from being used in evidence.

The last charge of being accessory after the fact of murder, the DPP contends that Dr Otai and Amanyire, received or assisted other people who were to their knowledge liable of an offense, in order to enable them to escape punishment.

The presiding Nakawa Court Chief Magistrate, Mr Elias Kakooza, remanded the trio to Luzira prison when “they will be brought back for purposes of applying to be released on bail since the charges they face are bailable, unlike murder.”

Meanwhile, court has also issued a criminal summons for the widow and Martha to appear on December 4 and plead to the charges too as the duo did not appear in court for medical reasons.

The development comes barely a week after prominent city businessman and Katanga’s uncle Mr Barnabas Taremwa asked the High Court in Kampala to conduct an inquest into his nephew’s death.

According to an inquest sheet drafted by Taremwa, he said the presence of a doctor, a one Dr. Otai Charles, at the home of late Henry Katanga on the fateful morning of Thursday, November 2nd 2023 is as inexcusable as it is unexplainable.

He added: “The guts with which late Henry Katanga’s spouse, Molly Katanga, and his daughter, Tricia (Patricia), chose to abandon the body of late Henry Katanga ni a house unattended to by any loved one as well as the true identity of the person(s) responsible for the decision to whisk away Sima Katanga (Katanga’s 12-year-old son) to an unknown destination and keep him away from the burial arrangements of his slain father and let alone disable the said Sima Katanga from staying vigil at his late father’s Mbuya and Karuroko homes and what motivated such a decision merit inquest proceedings.”

Taremwa said the person(s) responsible for the decision to abandon the body of late Henry Katanga laying down on the floor of his bedroom and instead prioritise the whisking away of his wife into an intensive care unit (ICU at IHK Hospital – Muyenga under the constant guardianship of Geofrey Kamuntu, her cousin, is a matter of great concern.

According to the postmortem report, Katanga’s body did not have any injuries which could have been caused by a physical fight with Molly.

The post-mortem report prepared by Uganda Police on November 2, 2023 concluded that, “There were no defense injuries seen and the long bones were intact.”

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