‘I wear my defence as a crown’: Bob Kasango’s rivetting Court plea for mercy
By Kasango Bob
I pleaded not guilty. When I testified in defence, I took the Bible on my right hand – the only right hand I have – and swore to tell the truth and asked God to help me and told God the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
This is your court and you are the judge, your word is law, mine an opinion.
This morning, you convicted me on several accounts. I am duty-bound both as a lawyer and a citizen to respect your decision, and I do. But I am not duty-bound to agree.
I very respectfully disagree with your findings. I listened attentively to your analysis of the facts and the law I have listened to the submission of the prosecution on sentencing.
On another day, I would have said I am remorseful, but the word ‘remorse’ is not an admission of guilt. I will never yield to my accusers if I didn’t do wrong. And I wear my defence as a crown and proudly so.
It’s not out of tranziness but out of a very clear conscience that I address you.
As an example, in your judgement, you dismissed the emails that I received from [John] Matovu to his brother, forwarding the court orders to my office and you stated it was another effort at falsifying documents.
If I say I’m remorseful, it will mean that I’m admitting falsifying documents.
As God knows I never falsify documents. The court provided me a projector, internet connection and I opened my email in the presence of everyone present.
I opened emails exchanged in 2011. It is technologically impossible that I could have inserted Matovu’s email including the attachments.
I hope you can appreciate why I disagree with you on this.
John Matovu, under oath, told court that he never asked his brother to give me the emails. That was contradicted by his brother. In your evaluation, you found him truthful of such crucial and glaring lies.
In all my life, I had never seen Lwamafa and Kunsa. I met them in court but the court has convicted me of conspiring with them. I respect that, my lord, but I will go to my grave protesting my innocence.
My heart and conscience are clear.
I would have addressed you on circumstances of my health, but I will not go in details.
Every day I live and breath by the grace of God. Before I was indicted, I had spent the better part out of the country.
But each time the Police required me to interact with them I bought air tickets from US to come and interact with them.
This investigation lasted two years, they sent me summons asking me to appear and take plea. At that time, I was in South Africa, but I dutifully returned.
I could have absconded from jurisdiction. I have dutifully attended every single day of this court except when I was bedridden.
What is it that makes our conscience clear? Is it our minds? Is it our hearts? My heart is clear and my conscience is clear about what I did and did not do in this case.
I beseech you to understand when I say I am resisting from using the word remorse – because every single thing that I did and say was the truth.
The letter of [then Justice minister Gen. Kahinda] Otaffire was a personal letter to his fellow minister of finance at my behest.
I would have told you that I have young children, haven’t worked in the last three years of this case but that would be admitting guilt.
“I would have told you that the DPP investigated my wealth and found nothing. They wrote to every bank about me, about my family and found nothing.
I would have told you that I have not worked for all that long due to ill-health and this case.
I decided to represent myself in this case not because I think I know, but because I cannot afford legal representation.
I never forged any document, never conspired with anybody and never stole any money.
You have the discretion, I urge you to exercise your discretion in view of the submission I have made.