They were all charged with 180 cases, and their file is registered under CRB No. 311-2023.

By Van Deguras

NTUNGAMO: The Ntungamo Chief Magistrate’s Court on Monday further remanded seven students of Kyamate Senior Secondary School in Ntungamo district over alleged murder and arson at the same school.

Magistrate Gordon Muhimbise adjourned hearing the case until April 11, 2023.

The suspects who appeared before the chief magistrate court under tight security were told that among the 180 charges they are facing, there is one capital offense: murder, and therefore his court has no jurisdiction to enter a plea and remanded them.

The Ntungamo resident state attorney, Laudelo Twinomugisha, told the presiding chief magistrate that investigations are still ongoing in this matter, and the court therefore adjourned the case.

In court, one of the suspect’s parents complained to the magistrate that his son is a juvenile who should not be jailed with the adult suspects.

The magistrate said the court shall give a ruling on this issue on April 11, 2023, when the chief state attorney Martin Ddungu will be present in court.

“On that day, the court shall order the health experts to carry out a medical examination to determine whether the complainant is still under age or not,” Laudelo said.

The magistrate further explained that the police had earlier indicated that there was only one juvenile suspect, but if there are others who claim to be underage, the medical doctors will prove it, adding that those found to be juveniles will be remanded to Kabale, where they will be sent to remand home with their colleague Elijah Arinaitwe.

The suspect’s parents were present at court and saw their sons being taken back on remand aboard the prison’s bus, number UG 0326U, as others shed tears.

The six suspects were further remanded to Ntungamo prison, as one Elijah Arinaitwe was further remanded to Kabale remand home over murder and arson charges following the incident that occurred at Kyamate senior secondary school on February 26 of this year.

The seven suspects are alleged to have committed the offense at the same school willfully and unlawfully and set fire that gutted Nyerere and Mandela dormitory blocks.

The two dormitories were accommodating 146 students, of whom the majority were senior one students who had just joined the school.

Some of the charges they are facing are: one count, which reads that the prime suspect, Tumushabe Wilber, and his colleagues caused the death of Bonus Ankwatirire, a student who was in senior one (aged 14), three counts of attempted murder, one count of arson, and malicious damage to 196 beds valued at four hundred fifty-seven million shillings in property value at the school.

They were all charged with 180 cases, and their file is registered under CRB No. 311-2023.

On March 10th, 2023, the Ntungamo magistrate’s grade one court presided over by Mariam Namubiru charged and remanded the seven suspects to the Ntungamo government prison until March 27th, 2023.

The suspects appeared before the court on March 27 and were further remanded until April 11, 2023.

The seven suspects who appeared before the chief magistrate’s court included Kanyesigye Odongo-Odamal, Arinatwe Anthony, Tumwesigye Arnold, Arinaitwe Elijah, Asiimwe Joshua, Tumushabe Wilber, and Twesigye Lawrence, all senior three students of Kyamate SSS.

The prime suspect (Wilber Tumushabe) was earlier suspended from school over indiscipline related to bullying of senior-one students.

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