NO WAY OUT! Police Seal Off Molly Katanga’s Sick Bed at IHK

Uganda Police has taken a precautionary measure by cordoning off the room at International Hospital Kampala (IHK) where Molly Katanga is receiving treatment, raising questions about the nature of her medical care.

Molly Katanga, who has been at IHK for 42 days following an incident that led to the death of her husband, Henry Katanga, is now subject to an increased police presence. Sources indicate that the heightened security is to prevent any potential escape attempt.

Recently, there was a disagreement between Molly's handlers and the police regarding her recommended medical procedures. Allegedly, Molly's team proposed a brain Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan abroad, a suggestion that the police opposed. Instead, Molly was taken to Rubi Hospital in Kampala.
Molly Katanga was admitted to IHK on November 2 after being found unconscious following a reported altercation with her late husband. Both Molly and her daughter, Patricia Kankwanza, were charged with the murder of Henry Katanga. Patricia is currently remanded in Luzira Prison, while Molly remains at IHK, nursing her injuries.

Molly's legal representatives at Kampala Associated Advocates (KAA) have lodged a petition with Principal Judge Flavian Nzeija, expressing concern over the police presence at IHK. As the situation unfolds, questions linger about the circumstances surrounding Molly Katanga's hospitalization and the legal implications of the ongoing case.

Molly Katanga Lawyers Protest;

RE: CRIMINAL CASE NO. A-43 OF 2023;ILLEGAL INTERFERENCE WITH MOLLY KATANGA’S MEDICAL TREATMENT AND UNDERMINING COURT ORDERS BY THE POLICE We make reference to the above captioned subject wherein we act for and on behalf of Molly Katanga (“Our Client”) on whose instructions we address you as follows: Our Client is currently charged with the alleged murder of her Husband, the Late Henry Katanga vide Criminal Case A-43 of 2023 which occurred on 2nd day of November 2023, the same day our Client was admitted to C-Care International Hospital, Kampala in the accident and emergency unit with life threatening scalp bleeding, lacerations, fractured wrists and hands following domestic violence at the hands of her later husband.

 Since then, our Client has undergone five(5) surgeries to her scalp and hands including an amputation and is currently receiving treatment at C- Care- IHK Hospital, under heavy Police watch/ deployment.(Photographs and medical reports showing her medical condition are attached and collectively marked. The Police took over the management of our Client’s receipt of medical care and accessibility, demanding for all medical information from our Client’s doctors and police clearance of medical procedures to be undertaken on our Client by her doctors and for anyone seeking to access her including her lawyers to first be cleared by the Police before accessing her. 

On 21 st November 2023, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) preferred criminal charges against our Client for the alleged murder of her Late Husband, the Late Henry Katanga and issued a media statement that our Client was not produced in court because she was undergoing treatment at C-Care – IHK Hospital. (A copy of the Charge Sheet and the media statement are attached hereto and marked as Annexure “B” and “C” respectively). 

On the same date, the 21st of November 2023, the matter came up for hearing and the learned State Attorney requested for summons to be issued to our Client to attend Court on the 4th of December 2023. The summons were accordingly issued for our Client’s attendance of Court on the 4th of December 2023. On 4th December 2023, when the case came for mention before the Chief Magistrate, we formally wrote a letter to the Chief Magistrate informing him of our Client’s inability to attend Court due to her dire medical condition.

 The said letter was presented to the Court with our Client’s medical report attached detailing our Client’s medical status and photographs showing the different surgeries and amputations undertaken and our Client’s current medical condition. We further informed the Court that our Client was under 24 hour Police watch/ custody at the Hospital where she was getting treatment
.(A copy of the letter to the Chief Magistrate is attached and marked “D”) However, the learned Senior State Attorney shockingly informed Court that neither the DPP nor the Investigating Officer had knowledge of our Client’s whereabouts and medical condition and that they had no access to her, in deviation from the DPP’s media statement confirming that our Client was hospitalized. She further claimed that there was no police presence at the Hospital where our client was and thereupon prayed for issuance of a warrant of arrest against our Client for her voluntary refusal to attend court. 

Her comments were succinctly captured in a letter written to the Court by Mwesigwa Rukutana & Co. Advocates praying that her denials be captured and reflected on the record. (See a copy of the record of proceedings which was reproduced by the Counsel on watching brief marked as Annexure “E”). 

After listening to both parties, the Honourable Court noted the that indeed our client was an admitted patient under specialized care and it extended the criminal summons to 8th January 2024 when the matter will come up for mention before Court.
 (A copy of the criminal summons for 8th January 2023 are attached hereto and marked as Annexure “F”). 

We note that following the numerous surgeries performed on our Client, our Client has experienced stagnated healing in certain regions of her scalp, evidenced by persistent scabs and blackening of the region, dizziness which has impacted her mobility and comfort in general. 

As a result, the doctors recommended that our Client undergoes a brain MRI scan to establish the root cause of the stagnated healing/ blackening of certain regions of her scalp and the progressive dizziness. However, due to the stationing of police at our Client’s hospital room, and the need for police clearance to undertake any medical procedures on our Client, it proved to be a herculean task to get our client to an MRI scan as the police actively blocked it and subsequently transported her to Rubi Hospital not in an ambulance but in a police car.

 On 12th December 2023, our Client was operated on her head at C-Care — IHK Hospital for the fifth time. However, during the operation, the Uganda Police officers forcefully tried to enter the theater where our client was being operated on. Our Client’s next of kin who had been monitoring our Client while she receives treatment took photographs and video recordings of the rowdy police attempt to access the Theatre. Upon the police officers noticing that they were being recorded, Constable Mangeni confronted our Client’s next of kin and demanded for the deletion of the recordings. Our client’s next of kin refused to delete the recordings and the police officers tried to arrest him on allegations that he was an obstacle to administration of justice. 
(See copies of the photos and video recordings marked as Annexure “G”). 

My Lord, on Court record, the Director of Prosecution and Uganda Police Force have denied the whereabouts of our clients or having her under close watch at the medical facility where she is receiving treatment. However, the Uganda Police Force has deployed heavy presence and guard at the Hospital where our client is admitted and has actively frustrated our client’s receipt of adequate and urgent medical attention. 

The Uganda Police further demand that all medical records and information about her ongoing medical treatment be shared with them contrary to the provisions of the Police Act and Data Protection Act. 

My Lord, Police officers such as Bob Kagarura and Wathum Benson have previously forcefully entered the hospital theater and even the ICU where our Client is receiving treatment and coerced the hospital staff into discharging our Client from the Hospital so that she “should be produced in court” and remanded in Luzira. 

My Lord, being charged with murder while being grievously injured doesn’t do away with our Client’s constitutional right to life, right to privacy and mostly importantly the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. Since this is a court of guided process and all parties including the Director of Public Prosecution are all officers of Court, it is our prayer that you prevail over the blatant abuse of our Client’s rights while she awaits to appear in court on the 8th of January 2024 as ordered by court. 

The purpose of this letter is to request that you invoke your constitutional administrative powers to stop the different entities from interfering with our client’s medical treatment and care and trial. 

Further we request that you issue clear directions on how the ongoing criminal proceedings should be conducted to prevent the ongoing trial by media based entirely on leaks of information by the Police to third parties. 

My Lord, it is clear that our client is not being given the space to heal, the presumption of innocence and her rights to be operated upon in a clean environment are being comprised by armed police officers storming theatre and threatening her next of kin with arrest. 

This is particularly troublesome since the court has already issued a summons to our client to voluntarily avail herself on the 8th of January. 

Neither her medical treatment nor her answering of the summons require any assistance from the Uganda Police Force. 

Our prayer is that you prevail on the DPP firstly not to give inaccurate information to the court and further to prevail on her client to respect the rule of law. 

We look forward to your intervention and guidance.

 We are much obliged.

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