Supreme Court: Ritual killer Kato Kajubi, Police boss who murdered wife seek freedom
Former NSSF managing director David Chandi Jamwa is also praying that the highest court in the land can set him free
SUPREME COURT–Kato Kajubi, the man whose cold and gruesome act of killing a 12-year-old boy and severing his head and private parts for ritual sacrifice left the country in shivers a decade ago, is seeking freedom from Luzira Prison.
The man who in 2008 executed the slaughter of Joseph Kasirye appears to believe that having the Supreme Court can commute or even quash his life imprisonment sentence meted out in 2012.
Like Kajubi, another murder, James Aurien, who turned the gun he was issued with a police officer to protest life to instead end that of his wife, has seen his death sentence commuted to 40-year jail term but now prays for the highest court in the land to lessen his sentence further.
The two high profile murder convicts are among the 18 other inmates whose cases the Supreme Court is hearing this month. Among them also is the former NSSF managing director David Chandi Jamwa, whose appeal has been fixed for hearing on July 25.
Jamwa, who is out on bail, is contesting a 12-year jail term for abuse of office, and causing the NSSF a Shs3.1 billion loss.
Another suspect is the former Mukono Police DPC James Peter Aurien, who is challenging a 40-year jail sentence for murdering his wife Christine Apolot in 2009
Aurien, who shot his wife dead after suspected her of having extra-marital affair, had been sentenced to death by the High Court but he successfully convinced the Court of Appeal that this sentence was harsh.
The justices of the appellant court subsequently commuted him to a 40-year jail term, which he’s now contesting before the Supreme Court.
His appeal will also be heard on July 25.
Kajubi and the ritual murder shocker
The Supreme Court will also hear the appeal of Masaka businessman Kato Kajubi, who was sentenced to life in prison after he was convicted of child sacrifice.
Kajubi was in 2012 convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment after being found guilty of hiring Umar Kateregga, a witchdoctor and his wife Mariam Nabukeera, to slaughter 12-year-old Joseph Kasirye for ritual purposes.
The sentence was handed to him by the High Court presided over by Justice Mike Chibita, who is now the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Prosecution proved that Kajubi murdered Kasirye, a pupil of Kayugi Primary School in Masaka District, on October 27, 2008, in one of the ritual murders that shocked the nation.
Kasirye’s head and private parts were cut off and have, to date, never been recovered. The case was under a retrial after the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) successfully challenged the High Court decision that had, in an earlier trial, acquitted Kajubi of the gruesome murder.
Justice Moses Mukiibi had acquitted Kajubi, reasoning that prosecution had failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that he was behind Kasirye’s murder.
But in appealing against the acquittal, the state argued that the trial judge failed to evaluate the evidence on record and came up with a wrong decision.
In their ruling, the three justices of the Court of Appeal sided with prosecution and said the 22 prosecution witnesses had proven the case against Kajubi beyond reasonable doubt.
Prosecution led by state attorneys Suzan Okalany and John Bosco Asiimwe presented 18 prosecution witnesses who pinned Kajubi. They included a witchdoctor, Umar Kateregga and his wife, Mariam Nabukeera, his earlier accomplices.
Prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt that Kajubi sponsored Kasirye’s ritual murder, which was carried out by Kateregga and Nabukeera. The duo was initially Kajubi’s co-accused before they later became prosecution witnesses and the DPP withdrew the indictments against them.
Justice Chibita said in his ruling found the evidence of witchdoctor and his wife useful and collaborative and, and said it had confirmed that indeed, Kajubi participated in the murder.
Kateregga and Nabukeera told court that after Kasirye’s murder, his head and privates were cut off, wrapped in a polythene bag and packed in a box before they were handed to Kajubi. It was Kateregga that led the police to a swamp in Kayugi where Kasirye’s torso had been dumped.
A medical report indicated that the boy died after his head, neck and genitalia were severed using a sharp object. Justice Chibita said in his ruling that Kajubi knows where Kasirye’s missing body parts are since they were handed to him.
The judge concurred with prosecution that a computer printout of the mobile phone numbers of Kajubi (0772700921) and Kateregga (0773717631) confirmed that the two communicated before, during and after the murder.
Furthermore, Justice Chibita said, the fact that Kajubi went into hiding after the Court of Appeal had ordered a retrial was an indication of his guilt.
Kajubi evaded arrest for more than one-and-a-half years until he ran out of luck in December 2011 when he was arrested from a shrine in Lweza A Zone near Kajjansi, a Kampala suburb.
He was later transferred to Masaka, where he was retried. Prosecution had pushed for the maximum sentence of death, but Kajubi’s lawyer, Fred Kamugunda, had asked court for lenience, arguing that his client was the sole breadwinner for 27 family members.