Law hammer

The High Court in Kasese has sentenced a father of five to 40 years in prison for raping and killing a woman.

Moses Kumbukirwa was found guilty of murdering his girlfriend, a one Joy Biira, on January 22, 2014 at Kathasenda Village, Mukunyu Sub-County, Kasese.

Though no direct evidence was adduced by any eyewitness, there was overwhelming circumstantial evidence proving that the accused had a hand in the rape and killing of Biira.

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“The post mortem report indicated that the deceased had vaginal bruises which mean that she must have had sexual intercourse before her death. The dead body was also found with the dress around the waist,” reads part of the court ruling.

Earlier, State Attorney Michael Kwesiga had prayed court to sentence the accused to death. “There is no record of previous acts, carries maximum sentence of death. Pray for a deterrent sentence.”

However, Kumbukirwa’s lawyer Edgar Tukahaabwa pleaded for a lighter sentence, saying the convict had been on remand for 3 years and two months.

He added: “He is a family man and father of five children. He is also a young man. I pray for 15 years.”

But Justice Anthony Ojok instead sentenced the accused to 40 years imprisonment.

“Prosecution was able to link the accused to the commission of the offence through circumstantial evidence. Circumstantial evidence can stand on its own so long as the Court subjects it to close scrutiny to determine that the inculpatory facts against the appellant are incompatible with innocence. This is the principle stated in the case of Kazibwe Kassim versus Uganda SCCA No. 1 of 2003 following many other decisions. I agree with the assessors’ opinion and find the accused guilty of the offence of murder contrary to Sections 188 and 189 of the Penal Code. He is hereby convicted as indicted,” the Judge ruled.