Supreme Court upholds 18-year jail term for spouse killer in acid attack case

Kampala, (UG):- The Supreme Court in Kampala has upheld an 18-year jail term imposed on one Enoch Kizito for the murder of his wife, Mary Nansubuga, by pouring acid on her 14 years ago.

The panel of five Supreme Court Justices led by Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo Chigamoy Monday confirmed the sentence issued by the Court of Appeal for manslaughter charges. They stated they found no justifiable reasons to overturn it.

The other justices involved are Lady Justices Professor Lillian Tibatemwa Ekirikubinza, Percy Night Tuhaise, Elizabeth Musoke, and Justice Christopher Madrama Izama.

In 2012, then High Court Judge Wilson Masalu Musene (now deceased) found Kizito guilty of manslaughter for the October 24th, 2012 murder of Nansubuga at Kasangombe Village, Kirabira Road in Wakiso District.

Kizito was initially sentenced to 23 years imprisonment. Justice Musene ruled that Kizito and the deceased were married and lived together with their two children in Wakiso District. On July 6th, 2012, the couple left for work separately.

That night, around 8:30 p.m., the deceased was attacked with acid by two men while returning home, causing injuries to her face and chest. Good Samaritans took her to Namungona Orthodox Hospital for treatment.

Kizito visited the deceased at Mulago Hospital later that night, briefly. Evidence revealed that Kizito arrived at Mulago with a Rwenzori water bottle and a handkerchief, with injuries on his face and hands, intermittently applying water to the handkerchief and his injuries.

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The deceased was moved to the intensive care unit at Mulago Hospital but succumbed to her injuries on October 24th, 2012, after three and a half months of treatment. The trial Judge found Kizito as one of the perpetrators of the acid attack but convicted him of manslaughter, not murder.

The Judge rejected Kizito’s claim of being with the deceased during the attack, questioning his delayed appearance after the incident. Unsatisfied with the verdict, Kizito appealed both the conviction and sentence. The Court of Appeal reduced the sentence to 18 years.

Kizito further appealed the 18-year term to the Supreme Court, alleging errors in re-evaluating prosecution evidence. Prosecution’s Caroline Marion Ocio urged the Court to dismiss the appeal.

In their verdict, the Justices ruled that the 18-year term aligns with previous manslaughter sentences and is justified given the premeditated acid attack on Kizito’s wife.

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“Moreover, we find the sentence justified in the circumstances of this case considering the appellant’s brazen and pre-meditated acid attack on the deceased, who was his own wife. This crime must have caused a lot of pain to the deceased. Moreover, as the Court of Appeal noted, the appellant was very fortunate to escape being convicted for murder,” held the Justices in a unanimous judgement.

They agreed with the Court of Appeal’s decision, finding no evidence of malice aforethought for a murder conviction.

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