In court on October 25, 2023, Flora Magara, a paternal aunt of Susan Magara, testified that Abubakar Kyewolwa, one of the accused individuals, was among those who received the $200,000 ransom delivered to the kidnappers. Flora explained that she had been contacted after her brother, John Magara, failed to deliver the ransom as directed by the kidnappers, leading her to make the payment in hopes of Susan’s release.
The murder trial involves several other accused individuals, including Mahad Kisalita, Yusuf Lubega, Hussein Wasswa, Muzamiru Ssali, Hassan Kato Miiro, Amir Ismail Bukenya, and Hajara Nakandi. The trial, presided over by Justice Alex Ajiji, began on October 23, 2023.
Susan Magara, the daughter of businessman John Magara, was kidnapped on February 7, 2018, on Kabaka Anjagala Road in Mengo while driving home in Lungujja. Her car was later found abandoned near her residence. The kidnappers demanded a $1 million ransom from the family before eventually murdering Susan. Her body was discovered three weeks later in Kigo, Wakiso district.
The prosecution alleges that the accused, along with others who are still at large, kidnapped Susan with the intention of procuring a ransom for her release. The indictment suggests that Yakub Byensi, a former combatant with the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels, played a role in the ransom scheme. Byensi, who is still at large, shares the same regional origin as Susan. Lubega, who worked with Susan’s mother in Container Village in Kampala, is also implicated in the crime.
According to the prosecution, armed with inside information, the suspects began trailing Susan until they abducted her in Lungujja. She was initially taken to Nakandi’s home in Nateete, Kampala, and later to Amir Bukenya’s residence in Konge II Makindye. The kidnappers sent two of Susan’s fingers to her family to demonstrate their determination to murder her if the ransom was not paid. Ultimately, they decided to kill Susan, believing that releasing her would expose them.
During Susan’s requiem mass at Our Lady of Africa Catholic Church in Mbuya, her family revealed that her killers had severed her fingers and sent them to the family along with a recording of the gruesome incident.