By Ivan Kaahwa
The Nakawa Chief Magistrates’ Court in Nakawa has remanded Abdul Rashid Kyoto, nicknamed Njovu, a commander of an ADF rebel unit operating in the thickets of Congo, to Luzira Prisons until November 17, 2023.
Njovu, who appeared in court on crutches, was arraigned before Chief Magistrate Erias Kakooza and charged with nine counts of murder, terrorism, and aggravated robbery. He confessed to being an ADF commander from 2018 to November 2023 in various parts of the country, including Kampala, Kasese, and the DRC.
These capital offenses carry a maximum penalty of death upon conviction. The court heard that Njovu and others had intentions to influence the government and intimidate the public on October 17, 2023, when they shot and killed David James, Geyer Cecilia, and a tour guide Eric Alyai in Queen Elizabeth.
The suspect also set ablaze a tourist safari vehicle, fleeing with an unspecified amount of money and valuables.
Njovu was arrested by the UPDF on Lake Edward at Katwe Kabatooro island while attempting to sneak into Uganda using a boat. At least four were incapacitated (Killed), and two others, whom Njovu tried to save, succumbed to injuries (died). When the UPDF approached, the suspects attempted to grab their weapons, prompting a quick response leading to their execution.
The court observed that the 31-year-old Njovu is a resident of Domain camp in Mwalika, DRC, and was formerly of Suni village in Lyama sub-county, Budaka District. More details presented in court revealed that on October 17, 2023, at Nyamunuka along Katunguru-Katwe Kabatoro Road in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Njovu unlawfully caused the death of David James and Geyer Cecilia, a couple from the UK on their honeymoon in Uganda.
The prosecution argued that Njovu also murdered their Ugandan tour guide, Eric Alyai, and burned two motor vehicles, including a cargo truck with registration number UBM 624L and a tourist vehicle with registration number UBF 303C.
Njovu is also accused of robbing the deceased of their passports, including those from the UK and Northern Ireland, a South African Passport, a British Airways American Express Card, an unspecified amount of money, a credit card from Barclays Premier Banking Visa Card, driving licenses, national IDs, and employment cards.
The prosecution, represented by Chief State Attorney Lillian Omara Alum and Assistant DPP Thomas Jatiko, stated that inquiries into the matter are still ongoing. Njovu has been remanded until November 17, 2023, as the court informed him that he cannot plead to capital offenses since these are tried by the High Court.
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