Detailed Verdict of Kasiwukira Murder Case

It was a thick blend of elation and grief at the Kampala High Court’s Criminal Division this morning after Justice Wilson Musalu Musene acquitted Sarah Nabikolo Sebunnya of all charges related to the murder of her husband Eria Bugembe Sebunnya alias Kasiwukira back in 2014.

In the same ruling the judge found guilty, side effects the other two suspects in the murder; Police Constable Ashraf Jadeni and Sandrah Nakungu, about it a sister to Nabikolo

Relatives and friends of the freed widow burst into applause and prayer after the judge gave his verdict, while those of the convicts were overwhelmed with shock that none of them was willing to face the press.

In his wisdom, justice Museni deduced that while prosecution produced 27 physical witnesses in court, none of them testified to have been approached by Nabikolo to negotiate a deal of killing Kasiwukira and neither did any of them bring her directly in this murder or at the scene of crime.

The witnesses who assayed to, included Silva Habimana who was hired by the deceased to monitor the movements of Nabikolo and her sister Nakungu but he didn’t prove that Nabikolo was engaged in any attempt to kill Kasiwukira.

In a video, another witness Alex Adwenya who alleged to have been hired by Nabikolo directly was never brought in court to testify in spite of the fact that it is the duty of the DPP to produce all witnesses, — even those with conflicting evidence — to testify in court.

On the matter of squabbles that existed in the family, the evidence of John Gayi a brother to the deceased was instrumental.

He told court that the couple had misunderstandings, resulting from the deceased’s decision to marry a mistress but after Gayi’s intervention they reconciled and a woman was given a gift of a motor vehicle and a house in Muyenga. There was no proof that the two reconciled thereafter, but this doubt benefitted the accused”

Nabikolo's relatives celebrate the verdict
Nabikolo’s relatives celebrate the verdict

For police officer Ashraf Jadeni’s case, the judge ruled that prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt that indeed he had a hand in this murder.

The judge based on evidence of different prosecution witnesses like Richard Byamukama, who informed court that he was approached by Jadeni in June 2014 requesting for help to kill a rich man in Muyenga; having hired two other assailants who failed to finish the mission.

The other witness was Johnbosco Kimansuule who informed court that he saw the police officer  17th October 2014 outside Kasiwukira’s house seated on the steering wheel of the killer vehicle UAE 018A.

This was further corroborated by Richard Komakech, who said that on the fateful day as he was taking his daughter to school he saw the same vehicle parked outside Kasiwukira’s home and it’s the same vehicle that knocked him dead.

The judge also threw away Jadeni’s defense that he had been hired by some police officials to pin Nabikolo to the murder with a promised of a house and Shs 100million.

Police officer Jadeni being led back to Luzira Prison
Police officer Jadeni being led back to Luzira Prison

The judge likened this defense to a drowning man who latches on a snake to save his life.

For the case of the widow’s sister Nakungu’s, the judge ruled that he was satisfied with the evidence that she mediated a number of meetings to have the deceased killed and that she was the previous owner of the killer vehicle.

This was premised on the evidence adduced by Gabriel Kwetegesa who informed court that he bought the car from Nakungu on 26th October 2014 after it had just killed Kasiwukira.

There was also Lawrence Bengo another witness who told court that he repaired the vehicle after it was used and Patrick Waiswa an Inspector of vehicles who found that the Pajero had been sprayed afresh on the bonnet after some panel beatings yet the witnesses said that the deceased after being knocked fell on the bonnet of the same car.

“(Nankungu)’s conduct leaves a lot to be desired; she for instance asked Kimansuule after the death of Kasiwukira to accompany her to town to buy new sim cards in fear of being arrested which was not the act of an innocent person,” the judge ruled.

“Section 20 of the Penal Code Act describes common intention as when two or more people join together in an intention to kill and therefore each of them is deemed to have committed the offence. Therefore in this matter A2 (Nakungu) is liable to the death of Kasiwukira.”

Prior to the ruling, the State Attorney Alice Kawukha Komuhangi and Samali Wakhooli had asked court to grant the accused deterrent sentences to prevent other members of community from engaging in such acts.

The defense lawyers however sought lighter sentences, on account of the accused being first offenders and in bad health.

The Judge however, sided with the prosecution; “No doubt, the deceased was prominent member of the society who was helpful to the people. You killed him in a barbaric manner. Despite being first offenders, a deterrent sentence is needed,” before sentencing the duo 22 years in jail, subtracting the two they spent on remand.

The two defense counsels Nsubuga Mubiru for Sandra Nakungu and Rwadslaus Rwakafuuzi for Jadeni vowed to appeal against both the conviction and sentences of their clients.

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