A man who last week confessed to killing a Muslim cleric in Bugiri District has denied the facts presented by the state in connection with the murder charge and his plea changed from “guilty” to “not guilty.”
Last week, Biasaali Mugoya, 40, a supervisor at SGA Uganda Ltd and resident of Lubowa in Wakiso District, pleaded guilty to murdering Sheikh Masuud Mutumba in February this year. Mr Mugoya appeared in the General Court Martial with seven others.
They are James Mugoya Balidhusa, a Local Defence Unit personnel in Buikwe, Amos Kojja, a resident of Lwemba Village; Sulaiman Konta, a resident of Busimba Zone; Charles Mwanda from Lwemba Village; John Mary Jagenda, a special hire driver and resident of Lubowa in Wakiso; Asharaf Mugoya, a resident of Musimba Village and Alex Mugoya, alias Waiswa, a security guard with Harsh Security Company from Bukedea District.
The seven have denied the charges. The court is chaired by Lt Gen Andrew Gutti who remanded them until the trial.
Sheikh Mutumba was gunned down on February 15 at his home in Busimba Village, Lwemba Sub-county in Bugiri.
He had just led Juma prayers at Masjid Noor in Iwemba, Bugiri that day.
While appearing for plea taking last week, Mr Mugoya confessed to the murder, which he said he committed alone, prompting the court to adjourn the case to allow the State to present the facts of the offence.
However, yesterday upon presentation and interpretation of the facts presented by prosecution led by Lt Col Raphael Mugisha stating that Mugoya committed murder jointly with the seven co-accused, Mr Mugoya denied the submission that he and others still at large committed the crime.
Mugoya insisted that he committed the offence alone without any other person’s help contrary to prosecution’s assertion that he was with others still at large.
Gen Gutti was prompted to enter a plea of “not guilty” for him.
Earlier, Mugoya had said he killed the sheikh because he had annoyed him and caused untold suffering to him.
Gen Gutti set March 31 for the hearing of prosecution evidence upon submission by the State that investigations into the matter were complete.
The State alleges that on or around February 14 this year at Lwemba Trading Centre in Bugiri, eight men and others still at large murdered Sheikh Masuud Mutumba using a gun, which is ordinarily the monopoly of the defence forces.
The accused persons were arrested by the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) after a revelation by a 10-year-old witness who narrated the events preceding the murder of sheikh Mutumba.