KAMPALA, UGANDA: The Supreme Court has upheld the life sentence handed to businessman Godfrey Kato Kajubi for masterminding the ritual murder of a 12-year-old boy, Joseph Kasirye.
In 2012, the then Masaka High Court Judge Mike Chibita convicted Kasirye for masterminding the ritual sacrifice of Kasirye. He was accordingly sentenced to life imprisonment.
Justice Chibita in his judgment ruled that the prosecution had proved the case against Kajubi beyond reasonable doubt that he played “a very key role” in the murder of Kasirye on October 27, 2008.
In 2014, Kajubi appealed, but the Court of Appeal upheld the life sentence. The court dismissed all Kajubi’s four grounds of appeal. They held that the trial judge was right to convict Kajubi as there was enough prosecution evidence squarely linking him to the supervision of the murder of Kasirye.
Kajubi then appealed to the Supreme Court on grounds that the witch doctor and his wife’s testimonies were full of grave inconsistencies meant to exonerate Kateregga with intentions of implicating Kajubi which was improper according to him.
His lawyers argued further that, the lower court Judges did not consider the charge and caution statement made at police by Kateregga where he reportedly admitted to having killed Kasirye. They also noted that the sentence was harsh and that it was not consistent with others sentences passed to similar offenders in cases of similar nature.
On Friday, the five Justices of the Supreme Court Alfonse Owiny-Dolo, Rubby Opio Aweri, Ezekiel Muhanguzi, Percy Night Tuhaise and Lillian Tibatemwa, agreed with the lower courts that Kajubi played a key role in the murder of Kasirye.
They held that the trial judges were right to convict Kajubi as there was enough prosecution evidence squarely linking him to the supervision of the murder.
The justices cited evidence by Kajubi in which he said he was in Jinja on the fateful day of 27th October 2008, of the murder of Kasirye and yet the MTN phone printouts showed contrary that he was in Masaka, a place where the boy was killed from.
This same evidence of phone printouts was corroborated with the evidence of Umar Kateregga, the witch doctor who under the instructions of Kajubi beheaded the boy when he said he was in constant communication with Kajubi before the murder of the boy.
The other evidence that the justices relied on was the fact that Kajubi’s conduct after the murder of the boy was suspicious as he disappeared from his known homes and also switched off his phones.
Kajubi’s lawyer Godfrey Turyamusiima said that it is unfortunate that their client has lost the case. He however says that they will apply for a review of the case.