Trial Commences, Woman Accused of Stealing Diocese of Kigezi Motor Vehicle Further Remanded.

By Obed Kankiriho

KABALE – The Chief Magistrate’s court in Kabale District has today commenced the trial for the case involving Shamim Batariro, a twenty-eight-year-old individual accused of the theft of a motor vehicle owned by Diocese of Kigezi during the burial ceremony of the late Apollo Nyegamahe, affectionately known as Aponye, in the Rukiga district.

Batariro, a businesswoman from Ruhinja village in Wakiso district, stands accused of the theft of a grey Suzuki vehicle bearing registration number UAT 478N on July 12, 2023. The vehicle had been used to transport clerics from Kikungiri Archdeaconry, led by Archdeacon Venerable Amos Tweteise, to the burial service in Kitaburaza village, Muhanga town council.

Reports suggest that Batariro made a stopover in Rubare town before proceeding with her journey under the cover of night. However, her fortune took a turn for the worse when police intercepted her at the Nyeihanga town council checkpoint around 10:00 pm. During the interception, Batariro was found in possession of nine vehicle master keys, five sticks of marijuana, 500,000 Ugandan shillings in cash, and 2 trays of eggs.

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Following her initial apprehension, Batariro was initially taken to Rwampara police station in Rwampara district, and subsequently transferred to Rukiga, where the case originally originated. The initial discovery of Batariro in possession of nine vehicle master keys, five sticks of marijuana, 500,000 Ugandan shillings in cash, and 2 trays of eggs led to her arrest.

On the 19th of July this year, Batariro appeared before the Kabale Chief Magistrate’s Court and faced charges of stealing a motor vehicle valued at 17.7 million Shillings, thereby contravening sections 254 and 265 of the Penal Code Act. She entered a plea of not guilty to these charges.

During her second appearance before the Kabale Chief Magistrate’s Court, today Venerable Amos Twetietse (61), the Archdeacon of Kikungiri Archdeaconry, and the Archdeaconry driver, Gad Arinaitwe (49), presented themselves as witnesses on behalf of the Diocese of Kigezi. Both testified to Batariho’s alleged theft of the vehicle.

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The witnesses presented an affidavit detailing the circumstances under which Batariho allegedly stole the vehicle and her subsequent interception by the police at the Nyeihanga town council checkpoint on the night of July 12, 2023.

Batariho, once again, declared her innocence and petitioned the court to return her belongings, which include 500,000 Shillings, a mobile phone, and a charger. She sought to regain her ability to communicate with her family. However, Raymond Mugisha, the state prosecutor, contended that these items would serve as critical evidence during the court hearings.

Chief Magistrate Derrick Byamugisha requested the state prosecutor to collaborate with the Police custodian to retrieve two contact numbers from Batariho’s phone, enabling her to connect with her family for necessary assistance.

As a result, Byamugisha ordered Batariho’s remand to Ndorwa government prison until the 19th of September 2023, which is the scheduled date for the next court hearing.

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Venerable Twetitse expressed his distress over the escalating incidents of motor vehicle theft and implored Batariho to abandon such activities. He further urged her and the entire Christian community to fervently pray for divine intervention, hoping that individuals with similar inclinations would repent and forsake their wrongdoing

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