Court sets date to try socialite Sipapa, wife over aggravated robbery case

Court sets date to try socialite Sipapa, wife over aggravated robbery case
City socialite Sipapa and wife Shamirah Nakiyemba in the dock

Kampala, Uganda | By Michael Wandati | The High Court’s Criminal Division in Kampala has scheduled the trial dates for socialite Charles Olimu, widely known as Sipapa, and his wife Shamila Rukia Nakiyemba, charged with aggravated robbery case, for December 18th and 19th, 2023. Having spent over a year in remand, the couple appeared before Justice Michael Elubu on Monday 20, November 2023.

Prosecutor Edward Muhumuza, leading the case, confirmed the prosecution’s readiness and informed the court about the sharing of evidence documents with defense lawyers Susan Wakabala and Henry Kunya. Both parties agreed to commence the trial on the specified dates next month.

Justice Elubu appointed two assessors, Joseph Wasidi and Juliet Kasiidwa, individuals with average understanding, to provide guidance on the case’s conclusion. Consequently, Sipapa and his wife were remanded further until the trial of aggravated robbery case begins next month.

The charges stem from an incident on August 29th, 2022, at Bunga Kawuku, Makindye Division in Kampala District. Sipapa, Nakiyemba, and others at large are accused of robbing six South Sudan nationals of various possessions and cash.

Among the victims, Jacob Arok Mul was reportedly robbed of US$429,000 (1.6 billion Shillings), two mobile phones (an iPhone valued at 3,200 USD and a Samsung), and a 75-inch Flat Screen TV valued at US$4,000. On the same night, Mary Ateng allegedly had her iPhone 12 Pro Max Gold, a Golden belt, a Golden Chain (both valued at 10,000 USD or 38 million Shillings), and two gold rings (valued at 500 USD) stolen.

The prosecution contends that the couple and others at large also robbed Chol Ateng of an iPhone 11 Pro Dark Green (valued at 800,000 Shillings), a Dell laptop, a charger (valued at 1,000 USD), and 500,000 cash. Deng Arok was allegedly robbed of an Apple Macbook Air Laptop (valued at 5 million Shillings) and an iPhone (valued at 5 million Shillings).

At Abig Yar’s residence, Sipapa and his wife are accused of stealing a laptop and an iPhone, both valued at 5 million Shillings, and robbing James Manyok of 400,000 Shillings. The prosecution asserts that the couple rendered their victims unconscious, facilitating the successful execution of the robbery.

Also Read: Sipapa demands DPP to return personal property confiscated during his arrest

Subsequent investigations revealed most of the stolen items at the couple’s residence in Kira Municipality, Wakiso District, including two vehicles, spare parts, and other items linked to the robbery. Police forensic analysis reportedly connected Sipapa to an additional 12 robbery cases.

Sipapa gained notoriety in Kampala for causing traffic disruptions to distribute money and engaging in incidents at National Unity Platform (NUP) offices.

The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Martin Ochola had earlier ordered Sipapa’s arrest and vehicle impoundment following an incident where he threatened and caused chaos. However, these directives were not executed until the robbery at Arok’s home.