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Uganda bars journalists from covering Bobi Wine’s return

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By JONATHAN KAMOGA
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Ugandan journalists are braving harassment by security forces to send updates using their mobile phones of the arrival and consequent arrest of pop star-turned-MP Robert Ssentamu Kyagulanyi.

Several journalists have been arrested and their equipment confiscated in what seems to be an attempt to hinder live coverage of the return of Bobi Wine, as he is popular known.

Mr Kyagulanyi had been in the United States for medical care following his alleged torture while in custody.

Ahead of his return Thursday, police barricaded roads around the airport and patrolled the Entebbe-Kampala road and near his home in Magere, outskirts of the capital.

Robert Sempala, the national co-ordinator for Human Rights Network for Journalists, says: “Many journalists covering the return of the Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi have been arrested and their gadgets and work IDs among others confiscated.”

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Mr Sempala listed some eight journalists in police custody. They are Henry Lubulwa of Uganda Radio Network, Joel Senyonyi of NTV, Diana Kibuuka of CBS FM, Moses Kyeyune and Sirajj Kiberu of KTV, Eve Muggaga of Daily Monitor, Charles Katabalwa of Radio Sapeintia, and Lubwama Johnson of state-owned New Vision.

Uganda Communications Commission had banned live coverage of Mr Kyagulanyi’s return.

On Thursday, the regulator is reported to have stormed a radio station and shutdown a programme midway.

While the crackdown may have barred broadcasters from live coverage, Ugandans took to social media to share pictures and videos of the goings-on near them.

Meanwhile, Bobi Wine landed at the Entebbe International Airport where security agents separated him from other passengers and took him away.

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Sentence Jane Muthoni to death, the State urges court in husband murder case

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Jane Muthoni hired men, including her co-accused, to kill her husband Solomon Mwangi in November 2016. [File, Standard]

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) wants Jane Muthoni, who was found guilty of her husband’s murder on April 22, sentenced to death.
Muthoni, alongside her co-accused Isaac Ng’ang’a, was declared guilty of Solomon Mwangi’s murder, which occurred in November 2016.
State Prosecutor Catherine Mwaniki told the Nakuru High Court on Tuesday, May 18 that the crime committed by the two; and the manner in which the murder was executed, “deserves a severe punishment such as death sentence”.
“This is a case that meets the threshold of a death penalty,” said Mwaniki.
“We are looking at the seriousness of the acts that led to Solomon Mwangi’s death. In our conclusion, we pray that this court finds that the element of the statutory premeditation was satisfied in this case,” she submitted.
According to the prosecutor, her team proved beyond any reasonable doubt that there was “substantial orchestration and planning” of Mwangi’s execution by Muthoni and Ng’ang’a.
“Mwangi’s death was not caused by a spontaneous act of violence, or an act of self-defense by the accused,” said Mwaniki, who proposed Muthoni and Ng’ang’a be sentenced to death.
Lawyer Wokabi Mathenge, who represented Solomon Mwangi’s family in the case, reiterated the Prosecution’s recommendation, terming Mwangi’s killing as “Murder Most Foul”.

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“He was defenseless while being killed,” said Mathenge.
The lawyer said Muthoni was yet to express any remorse to Mwangi’s family over his murder.
“The first accused (Muthoni), being a teacher, was expected to impart ethics to learners. In this case, she was the mastermind of her husband’s death. She, therefore, conducted herself in a manner not expected of a person of her stature,” said Mathenge.
According to the lawyer, Mwangi’s murder deprived his four children of fatherly love.
“We urge the court to find that a death sentence will suffice. Mwangi’s death was premeditated and well-planned,” he emphasised.
The accused’s lawyer, Francis Njanja, however defended Muthoni and Ng’ang’a against death sentence, stating the two have cooperated with the courts thus far.
Njanja maintained that even though the courts found the duo guilty of murder, they were “still innocent”.
Muthoni, who addressed the court via video conferencing, pleaded her innocence, saying her family had suffered throughout the period she’s been in custody.
“I’m the only hope and surviving breadwinner in my family. My children are suffering, yet those who killed my husband are out there walking freely,” she said.
Ng’ang’a, on his part, pleaded with the court to consider a lenient sentence on him.
Justice Joel Ngugi said the two persons will be sentenced on June 3, 2021.
How Mwangi’s murder was planned
During the trial, the court heard that in early November 2016, Muthoni hired two men to kill her spouse, the principal of Kiru Boys’ High School in Mathioya, Murang’a County. One of the hired killers was Muthoni’s co-accused, Isaac Ng’ang’a. The other, Nelson Njiru, disappeared shortly after learning that Muthoni and Ng’ang’a were being hunted.
Muthoni had been directed to Ng’ang’a and Njiru by Joseph Kariuki, who turned into a Prosecution witness following a plea negotiation. Kariuki was, however, sentenced to seven years in jail for manslaughter.
Upon arrest in mid-November 2016, Muthoni and Ng’ang’a, alias Gikuyu, were charged with Solomon Mwangi’s murder.
The court, through Kariuki, heard that Muthoni engineered her husband’s killing after he allegedly kick-started a relationship with another woman, identified in court as MWK or M-Pesa Lady. The plan was to eliminate Mwangi’s lover and then kill him, the court was told.
After four years in court, the case came to a close on Thursday, April 22, 2021, when Muthoni and Ng’ang’a were declared guilty of Mwangi’s murder.
“The offence of murder is established against both the first and second accused persons (Muthoni and Ng’ang’a respectively). Consequently, I find and hold that both accused persons are guilty of the murder of the deceased. I hereby convict both of them accordingly,” Justice Ngugi pronounced himself on the case.
In the ruling, the judge observed that Muthoni did not physically kill Mwangi, but “evidence demonstrated that she was the author of the plot”.
Muthoni reportedly parted with Sh50,000 for Mwangi’s killing, which was conducted by Ng’ang’a and another person not before the court Nelson Njiru. The hired killers strangled Mwangi to death on November 6, 2016, and dumped his body in Karakuta Coffee Estate in Juja, Kiambu County.
The court relied on 18 SMSs between Muthoni and Njiru, and 21 Prosecution witnesses to conclude that Muthoni had masterminded her husband’s murder.

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You should be humble, Tuju tells judges after BBI ruling

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Judges should be humble and realise that they depend on other arms of government like the police, even as they exercise their authority in court, Jubilee Party Secretary-General Raphael Tuju has said.

Respect President

Listening to legal advice

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Court Postpones Sentencing of Ex-School Head Convicted of Husband’s Murder –

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A Nakuru Court on Tuesday postponed the sentencing of Jane Muthoni, the former principal of Icaciri Secondary School in Kiambu.

Muthoni was last month found guilty of killing her husband, Solomon Mwangi, who then was the principal of Kiru Boys Secondary, Murang’a County.

The former school head will be sentenced on June 3.

The prosecution asked for the death sentence.

She and her co-accused Isaac Ng’ang’a alias Gikuyu were alleged to have committed the offence on diverse dates between November 6 and November 11, 2016, at Karakuta Coffee Estate in Juja sub-county, Kiambu County.

She claimed it was her husband’s colleagues who orchestrated the murder after he refused to play into their game over transfers.

Muthoni told the court that the principals, who influenced transfers and promotions of teachers in the region, were aggrieved after Mbuthi was posted to the school while she was promoted to head Icaciri Secondary School without going through them.

Muthoni alleged that the cartel had demanded Sh1 million from them to facilitate their transfer to schools of their choice.

Read: Widow of Slain Kiiru Boys Principal Convicted of Murder

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The court heard that the cartel framed Muthoni after killing her husband.

She was accused of having hired four people to kill her husband after suspecting him of having extramarital affairs.

One of the suspects identified as Joseph Kariuki Njuguna alias Karis confessed to being part of a gang hired by the slain principal’s wife to commit the crime.

In a 10-page confession that placed Muthoni at the murder scene, Njuguna pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter in a plea bargain arrangement that saw him agree to be a prosecution witness.

He was sentenced to seven years in jail by Kiambu High Court judge Joel Ngugi in March 2017.

In his ruling, the judge stated that it was evident the accused was not directly involved in the planning and execution of the murder, terming him a reluctant participant who did it for money.

He, however, faulted him for doing nothing to prevent the murder.

The fourth suspect, Nelson Njiru, is still at large.

Email your news TIPS to [email protected] or WhatsApp +254708677607. You can also find us on Telegram through www.t.me/kahawatungu

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