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Convict Kasiwukira murder ‘mastermind’ – prosecution

The mastermind of the murder of businessman Eria Bugembe Ssebunya alias Kasiwukira was her widow Sarah Nabikolo, prosecution told High court yesterday.

Nabikolo, her cousin Sandra Nakungu, and policeman Jaden Ashraf are on trial for allegedly murdering the businessman on October 17, 2014. Kasiwukira was knocked dead by a speeding car as he jogged early morning near his residence in Muyenga, Kampala.

In the prosecution’s final submissions, senior principal state attorney Alice Muhangi Kawuka claimed that Kasiwukira’s widow was responsible “for procuring, aiding and abetting the killing of her own husband.”

Not mincing words, Kawuka told a hushed court: “This woman has a bad heart, her heart is really strong.”

MOTIVE

Kawuka’s insistence on Nabikolo being the mastermind of the murder was premised on the fact that Kasiwukira got a mistress. Kawuka explained that this angered Nabikolo to the point of calling her brother-in-law John Bugembe Ggayi to intervene.

“Despite Ggayi’s intervention, the problem never went away; as a matter of fact, she got pregnant again and this further angered accused three (Nabikolo), this moved her to kill the deceased,” Kawuka submitted.

The prosecutor asked court to reject Nabikolo’s assertion that all was well with her husband. Kawuka pointed to the evidence of a boda boda cyclist Sliver Habimaana who said Kasiwukira had hired him to spy on Nabikolo because he suspected she was seeing witchdoctors.

“This was a family full of mistrust. The husband was spying on the wife and the wife was spying on the husband trying to find out how the mistress was serving him the food she had prepared,” Kawuka said. 

L-R: Sarah Nabikolo, Sandra Nakungu and Jaden Ashraf

Another issue that could have motivated Nabikolo to kill Kasiwukira, Kawuka said, could have been witchcraft. Kawuka hinged her submission on the testimony of security operative Richard Byamukama who said Nakungu hired him to kill Kasiwukira. Byamukama said Nakungu told him it was Nabikolo who wanted Kasiwukira dead because she was into witchcraft.

“We were told that the demons wanted one of her children sacrificed; so, in order to protect her own children, the old man had to go,” Kawuka said.

Kawuka also said the evidence of Geoffrey Adwenya was enough to prove that Nabikolo all along had tried to kill Kasiwukira. Adwenya, whose evidence was relayed in court via video link, said Nabikolo had given him Shs 300,000 to kill Kasiwukira but he got lost in the nearby banana plantation.

NAKUNGU

To the prosecution, Nakungu shouldn’t only be punished for murdering Kasiwukira but also for treating court like a theatre by telling blatant lies. 

“She did not take this case seriously at all,” Kawuka said, adding, “the way she answered our questions during cross-examination was as if she wasn’t caring. It shows that this person committed this crime.”

Kawuka submitted that Nakungu told falsehoods when she claimed that she was denied food by Luzira prison authorities.

“My lord, just look at her, does she look like a person who has been denied food? She looks good though she is in prison…,” Kawuka said, attracting sudden laughter.
“She was telling lies just to distract the truth from coming out.”

Kawuka submitted that Nakungu had an interest in killing Kasiwukira because the businessman had not only impregnated her but also forced her to abort. Nakungu’s involvement in the murder, according to prosecution, is tied to the fact that it was her car, a Mitsubishi Pajero registration number UAE 018A, that ended Kaswukira’s life.

Kawuka asked court to reject Nakungu’s line of defence that by the time the car knocked down Kasiwukira, she had sold it to one Gabriel Kwiteebi the previous day, October 16, 2014. Kwiteebi in his testimony said that Nakungu sold to him the car on October 27, 2014.

“How convenient for her to say that the car was sold just a day before the accident could happen,” Kawuka said.
“At first she said Kwiteebi had drawn the sales agreement of the car in a book then later she changed and said each party drew its own agreement. This person is a liar,” Kawuka said.

The other evidence against Nakungu is from Joseph Komakech who claims that days before the murder, he had seen the killer vehicle outside the slain businessman’s house, probably doing “rehearsals.”

Komakech also said that on the fateful day, he saw the same car knock Kasiwukira but he didn’t report the incident immediately because he was scared.

JADEN ASHRAF

In asking court to find Ashraf guilty, Kawuka pointed to the evidence of John Bosco Kimansule, the prosecution’s 14th witness. Kimansule told court that he saw Ashraf on the steering wheel of the vehicle that ended Kasiwukira’s life.

Kawuka submitted that even the evidence of Byamukama pins Jaden. Byamukama said Jaden and Nakungu, who were acting on behalf of Nabikolo, had promised him Shs 20 million if he killed Kasiwukira. The defence lawyers are expected to start their defence today. 

dkiyonga@observer.ug

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