Kampala, Uganda | URN | The family of Robert Karamagi, who died after being burnt at the home of musician Joseph Mayanja alias Jose Chameleone, is demanding fresh investigations into the circumstances leading to the death of their own.
It is alleged that Karamagi, 27, was tied with a rope on the hands, undressed, and burnt with aviation fuel or set ablaze at Chameleone’s home on December 26th, 2012, in Seguku.
In a petition to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), the family through its lawyers of Ochieng Associated Advocates and Solicitors and Nalukoola Advocates and Solicitors, says that they have written to the office of the DPP severally regarding the same subject matter in vain.
“The predecessor promised to have the matter investigated afresh and assured members of the public to handle the same to its logical conclusion,” reads the petition, which the office of the DPP has already received. The petition dated April 28th, 2023, adds that the predecessor pledged to allow Major Benedicto Kyamanywa, the father of the deceased, an opportunity to give police further information and have the file sanctioned.
“The purpose of this letter is to invite your good office to consider reopening the file and invite our client to give information regarding investigations and reconstruction of the scene of the crime, which will culminate in justice for our client’s late son Karamagi Robert. We are appreciative of your timely response in anticipation,” reads the petition.
On January 10th, 2017, the family’s lawyers also asked the DPP to allow them to join the team in investigating the case and preparation for the same for prosecution. In the alternative, they asked the DPP to allow their client to engage private investigators and institute private proceedings.
On November 30th, 2016, the family through their lawyers also wrote to the DPP complaining about the mishandling of the case, which was reported at Katwe Police Station referenced as KMP/E/01/2013. They said that before his demise at Mulago Hospital, Karamagi reportedly told his father and people around clearly that “I was tied with a rope and burnt with aviation fuel inside Joseph Mayanja’s residence as I pleaded for mercy and its Jose Chameleone himself who burnt me.”
The complaint also adds that “the purpose of this communication hereof is to put forth the plight of this family and to request that you prevail over this matter and fresh investigations be carried out so as to ascertain the truth of the murder.” On December 9th, 2016, the then Director of Public Prosecutions, Mike Chibita, now a Supreme Court Justice, wrote to the family saying that following their meeting, it was established that he had fresh evidence to implicate the suspects.
A decision was then taken to reopen investigations, and he wrote a letter on March 10th, 2015, directing the Director of CIID to conduct fresh investigations. Chibita added that since then, he did not receive the file back for review and directed the CID Director to give them an update on the progress. The office of the DPP is yet to disclose its plan regarding this fresh petition.
Chameleone, who couldn’t be reached, has since denied the allegations levied against him in statements released through his Leon Island Music Empire.