Makindye Chief Magistrate's court has declined to release Shamirah Nakiyemba, the wife of city socialite Charles Olim commonly known as Sipapa.
Sipapa and Nakiyemba were on Monday produced in court to be updated on the status of investigations into the six charges of aggravated robbery against them. The charges relate to the robbery of cash and other electronic items from six South Sudan nationals which occurred last month.
As a result, state attorney Hope Rukundo told court presided over by chief magistrate Esther Adikini that investigations into the charges against the couple are still ongoing and prayed for an adjournment to a later date.
But on their part, the lawyers representing the accused persons led by Robert Rutaro asked the court to release Nakiyemba temporarily on the basis that she is a breastfeeding mother with a five-month-old baby and that she was operated on in the process of giving birth.
As such, Rutaro informed the court that Nakiyemba needs to get special treatment outside the prison and also to go take care of the child. Court further heard that when Nakiyemba was arrested, she left the baby under the care of the grandmother who was also recently arrested and is being held reportedly at Kabalagala police station. Rutaro added that there is nobody to take care of the child at the moment.
In her ruling, magistrate Adikini instead permitted Nakiyemba to breastfeed from prison given the circumstances. She declined to release her on bail, saying that issues of bail can only be heard and determined by the High court which has the jurisdiction to try the capital offences against the couple.
Adikini subsequently further remanded the couple to Luzira prison until October 10, 2022, as investigations continue. Prosecution alleges that Sipapa and Nakiyemba and others still at large during the night of August 29, at Bunga Kawuku Makindye Division in Kampala district, robbed six South Sudanese nationals of different items and cash.
One of the victims Jacob Arok Mul was robbed of $429,000 (Shs 1.6 billion) cash, two mobile phones, an iPhone silver blue in colour valued at $3,200, a 75-inch Samsung flat-screen TV valued at $4,000.
It is alleged that on the same night, they robbed Mary Ateng of an iPhone 12 Pro Max gold in colour valued at Shs 5 million, a golden belt, and a golden chain both valued at $10,000 (about Shs 38 million) and two gold rings valued at $500.
Prosecution further alleges that the couple and others still at large, robbed Chol Ateng of an iPhone 11 Pro dark green in colour valued at Shs 800,000, a Dell laptop, a charger valued at $1,000, and Shs 500,000 cash. The suspects further went ahead and robbed Deng Arok of an Apple Macbook Air laptop valued at Shs 5 million and an iPhone valued at Shs 5 million.
At the home of another victim Abig Yar, Sipapa and his wife allegedly stole a laptop and an iPhone all valued at Shs 5 million. They also robbed James Manyok of Shs 400,000. According to the charges, immediately or after the robbery, Sipapa and his wife reportedly used a substance that made all their victims unconscious which made it easier for them to execute their crimes successfully.
Police earlier indicated that most of those items said to have been robbed by the couple were recovered hidden at their home in Kira Municipality in Wakiso District. Police further told journalists last week that a report from the DNA tests carried out by their forensics had linked Sipapa to 12 more other cases of robbery.
Sipapa became popular mostly in Kampala city for causing chaos on roads by stopping in the middle of roads or at busy junctions in order to distribute money to crowds. Before and after the contested 2021 presidential elections, Sipapa is said to have occasionally gone to National Unity Platform (NUP) offices in Kamwokya and caused chaos by shooting in the air or even at the gate.
At the time of provoking NUP, Sipapa was having military guards. They were however withdrawn early this year after he knocked another motorist and threatened to shoot him.
The IGP Martins Ochola ordered his arrest and impounding of his vehicle. However, the IGP’s orders were not effected until the robbery at Arok’s home.