SPOTLIGHT! Call data discrepancies cast doubt on witness testimony in Katanga trial

Lead prosecutor Samali Wakooli frustrated as key witnesses change statements

Lead prosecutor Samali Wakooli frustrated as key witnesses change statements

KAMPALA — The ongoing trial in the murder of Kampala businessman Henry Katanga in the High Court, Kampala on Wednesday July 10, took a dramatic twist after discrepancies in call data records raised questions about the credibility of the testimony of a key prosecution witness.

Timothy Nyangweso, a presenter at state broadcaster Uganda Broadcasting services (UBC) and a church minister at Watoto Church took to the witness stand but the defence lawyers were quick to poke his credibility pointing out that he lied severally when he recorded a statement saying he called one of the daughters of the late Katanga on the fateful day.

The development on Wednesday, sparked intense debate in the courtroom, with the defense team seizing on the inconsistencies to challenge the prosecution’s version of events.

Evidence presented by the defense contradicted the testimony of witness Timothy Nyangweso, cousin of the late Henry Katanga. Nyangweso had earlier testified that he called Martha, Katanga’s daughter, on November 2, claiming she told him about Katanga’s death.

However, during cross-examination, defense counsel Elison Karuhanga presented a call data list that showed no record of Nyangweso’s number.
Transcript of the cross-examination here below:

Karuhanga asked, “You said you called Martha on November 2; can you confirm that?”

Nyangweso replied, “Yes, I called her around 8:30 am.”

Karuhanga asked, “Is your number on the call data list?”

Nyangweso responded, “No, it’s not there.”

Karuhanga pressed, “But you maintain that you called her?”

Nyangweso insisted, “Yes, I called her twice, and on the third time, she picked up.”

Karuhanga pointed out, “But your number is not on the list. How do you explain that?”

Nyangweso admitted, “I don’t know, but I called her.”

The defense counsel further questioned Nyangweso about his statement, pointing out that it did not include his telephone number.

Karuhanga asked, “You signed your statement, but your number is not there. How can we verify your claim?”
Nyangweso replied, “I didn’t include my number in the statement, but I called Martha.”

Karuhanga skeptically asked, “And you expect us to believe that?”
Nyangweso maintained, “Yes, I’m telling the truth.”

The exchange highlighted the inconsistencies in Nyangweso’s testimony and raised doubts about the reliability of the prosecution’s evidence.

The defense has maintained that the prosecution’s case is based on unreliable witness statements, and the call data evidence has further weakened their argument.

Molly Katanga, who the defence team insist was a victim of the incident that led to the death of her husband on the fateful day of November 2, 2023 is being tried alongside her daughters — Patricia Kankwanzi and Martha Nkwanzi charged with destroying evidence while the family’s shamba boy, George Amanyire, and medic Charles Otai, are also charged with accessory after a fact.

The trial has been adjourned until Friday July 12, with the possibility of a month-long adjournment if the prosecution is not ready to proceed.


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