News and Views
Kajubi gets life for young life he took
The High Court in Masaka yesterday convicted Godfrey Kato Kajubi of the murder of 12-year-old Joseph Kasirye and sentenced him to life imprisonment, two years after Justice Moses Mukiibi acquitted the city businessman of the same offence and facts.
“I want the children of Uganda to go to bed tonight happy in the knowledge that one of their major tormentors is safely locked up and I find you guilty of murdering Joseph Kasirye,” Justice Mike Chibita said while delivering his judgment to a packed court.
It was a turnaround by court, and this time a happy ending, for prosecutors who have worked over four painful years to find justice for a budding boy whose torso was found hidden in a swamp after he was decapitated and his genitals removed.
The head and sexual organs, according to witchdoctor Umar Katerega who executed the teenager, were taken by Kajubi as offerings for his businesses to prosper.
First trial judge Justice Moses Mukiibi ruled in April, 2010 that witnesses contradicted each other and that the evidence adduced in court, including testimony Katerega Kajubi paid him Shs360,000 and promised an additional Shs15m to kill the boy, were insufficient to convict the businessman.
The acquittal drew public fury, forcing the Director of Public Prosecutions to appeal.
In his ruling based on the same set of facts, Justice Chibita yesterday said that the prosecution produced “enough evidence” to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Kajubi participated in the murder of the minor on October 27, 2008.
He said he had no doubt that Kajubi demanded to get a young boy’s private parts and his head for the purpose of using them in witchcraft to protect and propagate his wealth.
When the dead body was found in the swamp those parts were missing from it.
The judge also said the two principal State witnesses Umar Katerega and his wife Marian Nabukeera consistently mentioned knowing the accused very well and they both kept saying he did visit their house on the day Kasirye was killed.
The phone printouts showing communication between the businessman and witchdoctor the night of the murder, the judge said, was compelling evidence the two were in touch.
Chibita also said Kateregga did the maximum by taking the police to where the dead body was and it had no private parts and no head since both had been taken by Kajubi.
“Why could he not take the police to where the head and private parts were if he knew where they were?” Chibita asked, adding “because Kajubi took them already.”
Justice Chibita also said if Kateregga’ s evidence contained some lies, there was a clear line of consistence and he was persuaded to believe that the few times he lied there was a reason for doing so.
For example when he lied to the locals that he knew nothing about Kasirye’s death he wanted to save himself from mob justice
“We are certainly glad that what we had believed to be sufficient evidence to warrant a conviction has been looked at again critically for court to come up with this conviction,” DPP’s spokesperson Jane Kajuga said, “We think justice has been done.”