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(From The Monitor (Uganda) - AAGM)
Hearing of the rape case against Forum for Democratic Change leader Kizza Besigye started yesterday before Justice John Baptist Katutsi of the High Court. Daily Monitor's Solomon Muyita, Siraje Lubwama, Lydia Mukisa, Lominda Afedraru and Hafsah Nabayunga recorded the proceedings.
It's 9:25a.m. Justice Katutsi enters the courtroom. Dr Besigye is in the dock guarded by three prison warders. The two appointed assessors, Ms Juliet Kasengwa, a businesswoman, and Mr Edward Gureme, a retired civil servant take oath.
Prosecution: I am Byabakama Mugenyi for the prosecution. The defence has Sam Njuba, John Matovu, David Muhangi, Yusuf Nsibambi and Kiyemba Mutale. We're ready to proceed.
Njuba: We request a short adjournment of about 20 minutes to access our client. We had arranged to access him from Luzira over the weekend and the prison authorities blocked us so we were unable to access him. We can access him from this courtroom because in anyway he can't escape because the place is heavily guarded.
Katutsi: It is very unfortunate that some of us appear to be living in the year 1000 BC. Let members of the public go out to allow lawyers to meet the accused. I don't want any more hovering and interference. I am adjourning the case for 30 minutes. (10:45a.m: Joanita Kyakuwa, the alleged rape victim, enters the dock.)
Njuba: We intend to call witnesses and the law requires that we let the court know about them. The danger is for the witnesses to sit in this court. We will be calling Winnie Byanyima, Nick Wavamunno, the Superintendent of Mengo Hospital, Malita Namayanja, Maama Kyama.
Katutsi: Are the witnesses around? I have only seen Byanyima going out?
Byabakama: (to the witness) What language are you going to use? (Kyakuwa chooses English. She is a Catholic and takes the oath). What is your name?
Kyakuwa: Kyakuwa Joanita.
Byabakama: How old are you?
Kyakuwa: I am 28.
Byabakama: Where do you stay?
Byabakama: What do you do?
Kyakuwa: I am unemployed at the moment.
Byabakama: (pointing at Besigye) Do you know the gentleman standing there?
Kyakuwa: Yes. He is called Dr. Kizza Besigye. He was my guardian at some point.
Byabakama: When was this?
Kyakuwa: Between 1997 and 1998. He was helping me when I was staying with him at Luzira.
Byabakama: When did you come to stay with him?
Kyakuwa: Around May or June 1997, I can't remember the exact date.
Byabakama: How did you come to live with him?
Kyakuwa: My aunt with whom I was staying with at Mbarara called Saudah Kibirige was a friend of Hon. Winnie Byanyima.
Byabakama: So, how did you end up in Dr. Besigye's home?
Kyakuwa: My aunt informed me after sitting my A-level exams, that I am going to stay with Hon. Byanyima.
Byabakama: Did you travel on your own to Luzira or you were picked by someone?
Kyakuwa: I came with my aunt from Mbarara.
Byabakama: How many people were you living with at Luzira?
Kyakuwa: Dr Besigye, Madam Winnie Byanyima, Aisha, the maid, Grace Kyamugisha and occasionally Ampa, a son of Dr Besigye used to come. Kyomugisha is Winnie's cousin.
Byabakama: How were you received in Besigye's home?
Kyakuwa: I was received …