Former Prime Minister of Tooro John Sanyu Katuramu has today been released from Luzira prison after a 22 year jail term .
Katuramu, his nephew Patrick Kwezi and Alex Twinomugisha a former kadogo were convicted and sentenced to death in 1999, for masterminding the gruesome murder of Toro Prince Happy Kijanagoma and Stephen Kaganda, a guard, on March 25, 1999 respectively.
The then Muhikirwa of Toro Kingdom –Katuramu a filth rich man was appointed by the late King Patrick Kaboyo Olimi II of Toro as his Prime Minister in 1993. He was the proprietor of one of the first forex bureaus in Kampala- Give & Take Forex Bureau which was located at Uganda House . He also owned Shell Petrol Station Kampala road, Voice of Toro (VOT) FM Radio in Fort Portal and Rwenkuba Farm in Kabarole District where the Kijanangoma killers hid after shooting to death the late prince.
Kijanangoma together with Princess Elizabeth Bagaya were embroiled in running kingdom wrangles –accusing Katuramu of grabbing kingdom property and enriching himself at the expense of the late Omukama Kaboyo who was succeeded by his son King Oyo Nyimba aged 3 years.
Prince Happy Kijanangoma was gunned down on March 25, 1999 while having a drink with a friend, Ferri Babara, at Palace View Bar in Fort Portal Kabarole district .
Twinomugisha was arrested at Pool Nest pub Kireka near Kampala on July 23, 1999. He was taken to the Directorate of Military Intelligence (now CMI) and to Kampala Central Police Station.
Patrick Kwezi who had acted as the contact person between Katuramu and Twinomugisha was arrested in Kasese. At the trial in Fort Portal Justice Katusi found and ruled that the prosecution had proved beyond reasonable doubt that John Katuramu masterminded and funded the murder of Kijanangoma and sentenced him to death by hanging. Katusi’s judgement was up upheld by the Supreme Court of Uganda .
However, Katuramu escaped the hangman s noose after the same supreme court found in the constitution petition by death row inmates at Luzira led by Susan Kigura that by staying on the death row for many years constituted –cruel ,inhuman and degrading treatment of the death row prisoners .
Court therefore ordered that all those who had spent more than three years on death row without facing death should have their sentences reduced to prison jail terms . Many of the death row inmates including Susan Kigula who was sentenced to death for the gruesome murder of her boy friend while he was sleeping and now Katuramu-have since been released from prison at the chagrin of the victims families .
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