Masaka, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Godfrey Kato Kajubi has applied to the Supreme Court asking the justices to review their decision that upheld his conviction and subsequent life imprisonment for murdering a 12-year-old boy Joseph Kasirye.
In July 2012, the then Masaka High Court Judge Mike Chibita found Kajubi guilty of murdering Kasirye on October 27, 2008.
The court found that there was overwhelming evidence that Kajubi hired a witch doctor Umar Kateregga and his wife Mariam Nabukeera to kill Kasirye, a pupil of Kayugi Primary School in Mukungwe sub-county in Masaka district for ritual purposes.
Justice Chibita said that Kajubi cut off Kasirye’s head and genitals and disappeared with them to be used in his real estate businesses in Kampala, Jinja and Masaka and to date; those body parts have never been seen again.
Chibita handed Kajubi a life imprisonment sentence after conviction. But Kajubi challenged the conviction and sentence in the Court of Appeal but it was upheld.
Kajubi challenged the decision in 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 he argued that it was improper.
The Supreme Court heard that the lower court Judges did not consider the charge and caution statement made to police by Kateregga where he reportedly admitted to having killed the boy. 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.
While delivering their decision in 2021, the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo upheld the Court of Appeal judgement. These reasoned that considering the gruesome, horrific, heartless and most unjustifiable killing of the defenceless 12 years infant, by decapitation and cutting off of the private parts, it was unreasonable for anyone to say that a sentence of life imprisonment upon conviction is either harsh or disproportionate.
The Supreme Court ruled that it was satisfied that the Court of Appeal had considered every circumstance and mitigating factor presented by Kajubi before a life imprisonment sentence was handed to him.
In an application for review that Uganda Radio Network has seen, Kajubi wants the Supreme Court Justices to quash their own decision and accordingly set him free.
He says the Supreme Court has the jurisdiction that empowers it to recall its judgement and correct errors therein so as to achieve the ends of justice or prevent abuse of the process. According to Kajubi’s evidence to the court, those powers include setting aside their own judgement which is proved null and void after it has been passed.
In his case, for instance, Kajubi says there could have been an unexpected mistake when the Supreme Court failed to give due attention to the major contradictions and inconsistencies in the Prosecution case which started right away from the High Court during retrial and went through the Court of Appeal up to the highest court of the land.
He notes that the witnesses gave contradicting statements when Kateregga said he killed Kasirye alone and only called Kajubi to pick the body parts and on another occasion that it was a one Stephen who killed on Kajubi’s orders.
He adds that Nabukeera said she was pushed outside the house and never heard what transpired and on another occasion, that she was locked in the bedroom and heard what transpired the same person also says Kajubi threatened her with a pistol and on another occasion that it was a knife.
But Kajubi says the DPP was in contempt of court for retrying him alone when the Court of Appeal ordered a retrial of all the three people and the DPP opted to drop charges against Nabukeera and Kateregga who had confessed to having participated in the crimes.
Kajubi now wants the Supreme Court to use its inherent powers and set aside its own judgement and accordingly release him from Luzira Prison where he is currently serving his sentence from.