Set Uwera free, defence lawyers tell court

stronKampala- stronMs Jacqueline Uwera Nsenga yesterday concluded her defence with her lawyers making their final submissions and asking court to acquit her of the charge of murdering her husband. The defence lawyers said the prosecution had miserably failed to prove she killed her husband intentionally.

Uwera is charged with the murder of her husband, businessman Juvenal Nsenga in January last year when she ran over him with a vehicle at their Bugolobi home as he opened the gate for her.

She presented four witnesses, including the deputy director of the Police Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Department, Mr Geoffrey Musana.

Her lawyer, Mr Allan Sserulika, told court in his one-hour submission that the State “miserably” failed to prove that Uwera intentionally killed her husband and asked the trial judge Duncan Gaswaga to acquit her.

He submitted that Nsenga’s death was an accident, adding that Uwera acted with urgency to save his life by rushing him to hospital and calling for help.

At the beginning of the trial, Makerere University’s Prof Jackson Mwakali, who led a team of expert engineers that examined the scene of crime at Nsenga’s home, testified that the car Ms Uwera was driving was capable of unintentional acceleration given its modern features.

Mr Sserulika also asked court to dismiss the evidence of all the witnesses from the deceased’s family arguing that it was not credible, given the property dispute between them and the accused.

Earlier in her defence, Ms Uwera had claimed that she was being framed by her in-laws because they wanted to take over her husband’s estate.

But on Wednesday, the prosecution produced documents showing her late husband co-owned the estimated Shs50 billion estate with his father and brothers.

The case continues today with the State making its final submissions.

stronTHE HIGHLIGHTSstron

stronUwera’s trial resumed in the afternoon on Wednesday. Defence lawyers played a video recording of speeches at the funeral service of the late Nsenga at Christ the King in Kampala. In the video, the deceased’s father, Mr Donati Kananura and Jacqueline Uwera’s sisters are seen urging that the accused be forgiven. The video recording was tendered in court by Mr Joseph Nsubuga, the manager operations at Uganda Funeral Services, which handled Nsenga’s burial. Next defence witness takes oath and Uwera’s lawyer Nsubuga Mubiru leads her in the testimony. stron

stronMubiru: stronWhat are your full names?Defence witness: Jessica Namwanje, 30 years old. I live in Namuwongo.stronMubiru: stronWhere were you living in January 2013?stronNamwanje: stronAt Mr Nsenga’s placestronMubiru: stronWhen did you leave that home?stronNamwanje: stronIn April 2013stronNsubuga Mubiru: stronCan you tell court what you remember on the night of January 11, 2013?stronNamwanje: stronI was sleeping and the time was between 8:30pm and 9:30pm when I heard someone crying calling for help at the same time. I did not mind a lot as I thought the yelling was from a neighbour’s place.Afterwards, I heard someone come near my window who then called my name, Jessica, Jessica come and help me carry dad Jermaine to the hospital. When I got up and went to check what was happening, it was dad Jermaine. I wondered what had happened to him as I had left him in the living room taking tea.He (deceased) was groaning in deep pain and profusely bleeding.Upon reaching the accident scene, madam (Jacqueline Uwera) asked me to go and call neighbours to help but they refused to come until herself went and called them. Two of them came and helped madam to lift the deceased into the car to take him to hospital. However, in the process, the deceased’s head was not properly fitting and I was told to go to the house and bring a pillow.I spent about 20 minutes looking for the pillow. When I returned, I found madam had taken the deceased to hospital.stronMubiru: stronBefore going to collect the pillow, did anyone say any words?stronNamwanje: stronYesstronMubiru: stronWho said those words and what where they about?stronNamwanje: stronIt was madam who said darling I am sorry, darling I am sorrystronMubiru:stron You told court that you were in that home for two yearsstronNamwanje: stronNo, one and a half yearsstronMubiru:stron Did you ever notice any quarrels, fights in that home?stronNamwanje: stronNo stronMubiru: stronHow did you leave that home?stronNamwanje: stronSomeone called Moses said I should leave that place and on asking him why, he said since the police had left, I should also leave but I told him to give me some little time to finish washing but he insisted that I should leave and I left.stronMubiru: stron Who was that Moses?stronNamwanje: stronBrother to the deceased.(Cross examination by Principal State Attorney Susan Okalany)stronOkalany:stron You told court that you came to that home in December 2012, are you sure?stronNamwanje:stron YesstronOkalany: stronYou were told to leave in April 2013, does that come to one and half years?stronNamwanje: stronI may have miscalculated but I remember I went there in December 2012.stronOkalany: stronYou said someone came to your window calling you for help, where was your window?stronNamwanje:stron The side of the kitchen but I was staying upstairs.stronOkalany: stronYou said you went to pick a pillow but found madam had taken the deceased to the hospital, how many minutes did you take there?stronNamwanje: stronAbout twenty minutes (murmurs in court about 20 minutes to just to look for a pillow)stronOkalany: stronI want you to confirm to court that the deceased stayed home the whole day that fateful day.stronNamwanje:stron Yes and he had taken several days without going out.stronOkalany: stronDid the accused have a job?stronNamwanje: stronI don’t think so as I used to see her at home most of the time.stronOkalany: stronNo further cross-examinationstronJudge: stronre-examination?stronMubiru: stronNo(Judge then thanks the witness for testifying as the witness is told to leave the dock. Next defence witness takes oath). Ms Jane Akuo Kajuga, Principal State Attorney, complains that the next defence witness had been attending almost all the court hearings and that was against the rules, before asking court to treat her evidence with care. But defence lawyer says there is no law preventing her to testify and besides she did not know that she would testify in due course.stronJudge: stronWas this particular witness in court during the defence hearing?stronKajuga:stron Yes and the position is very clear that it all goes to the weight.stronJudge: stronUnfortunately, our court does not have cameras to tell us whether this particular witness has been attending court sessions throughout or not, but proceed.stronMubirustron: Tell court your full namesstronKarungi:stron Shantal Karungi, 45 years old.stronMubiru: stronHow do you call the accused?stronKarungi: stronMy young sisterstronMubiru:stron When did you first come to learn of the death of the deceased?stronKarungi: stronThat same night

stronMubiru:stron What did you do?

stronKarungi: stronI took the next flight to Uganda, she was in her room crying and she didn’t want to eat even.

Mzee Donati Kananura, the father of the deceased also came with his daughters and was trying to tell me to find out why Jacqueline never visited him while he was in the hospital. He was with Joseph Kananura.

stronJudge: stronCross examination?

stronKajuga: stronNo

stronNsubuga Mubiru: stronWe rest our case on that and we remain with submissions.

stronJudge:stron Since you have called witnesses, you will  go first tomorrow (Thursday) then prosecution on  Friday and then if there are any re-joinders, this will be done on Wednesday next week since Monday and Tuesdays are tricky days that could fall on IDD.

stronCourt adjournsstron

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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