Investigation News

Wannabe Socialite Sipapa Denied Bail

City socialite Charles Olimu, aka Sipapa, has been denied bail by High Court in Kampala.

Justice Paul Gadenya Wolimbwa ruled that Sipapa failed to satisfy court that he will return for trial once granted bail.
“The applicant (Sipapa) is denied bail for the following reasons: he did not prove that he has a fixed place of abode; he did not present substantial sureties; and it is in the interest of justice that the applicant is denied bail. It is so ordered,” Justice Gadenya ruled on Friday last week.

Sipapa was jointly charged with his wife Shamira Rukia Nakiyemba over offences of aggravated robbery and money laundering.

Sipapa had raised a number of grounds for his release, such as being presumed innocent until proven guilty; the trial is likely to delay because investigations are not yet complete; has a fixed place of abode; he has substantial sureties; no likelihood for him to interfere with investigations; and he shall not abscond if granted bail.

But Justice Gadenya said three out of the sureties that Sipapa had presented were not substantial as their places of abode were not known.

“…Additionally, except for one surety (Tamale Joseph Mirundi), the introductory letters of the other three proposed sureties do not state whether they are tenants or homeowners. This touches on the traceability of the sureties, a fact that is crucial in assessing their substantiality,” he ruled.

He added: “Given the insufficient information provided by the sureties except for Tamale Mirundi, it would be risky for the court to rely on these sureties whose standing in society is unknown. For this reason, the proposed sureties, save one, are rejected by the court.”

The judge also observed that Sipapa failed to present medical evidence to show that he is suffering from a disease that cannot be treated in prison but rather presented clinical notes of his child.

“The illness and infancy of the applicant’s infant cannot be provided by the applicant as a ground for his release on bail pending trial. The exceptional circumstances of illness and infancy should relate to the applicant and not his infant,” held the judge.

The judge held that Sipapa failed to show that he has a permanent home in Buwate, Wakiso District.

“In his letter of introduction, it is stated that the applicant is a resident who has been known to the chairperson for over two years. The letter, however, makes no mention of the exact location of the applicant’s residence nor does it state whether the applicant is a permanent resident, or he is renting the premises in which case, the names of the landlord would have been mentioned,” ruled Justice Gadenya.

“In turn, such a notable level of transparency would have helped the court determine, in the favour of the applicant, that he indeed has a fixed place of abode. Since the applicant bares the duty to prove that he has a fixed place of abode, which duty he has failed to discharge, the court is, therefore, inclined to find that the applicant has no fixed place of abode,” he added.
Sipapa and his wife have since been sent to the High Court to stand trial after the prosecution concluded carrying out investigations. It remains unclear when the court will commence hearing Sipapa’s case.

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