Before prison sentence was handed down yesterday, a teary Jacqueline Uwera Nsenga offered an apology to the family of her dead husband Juvenal Nsenga.
“My Lord, I am a first-time offender. My late husband and I had two children the accident that took place was not intentional. All I can add is that my in-laws are in great pain. I may be looked at as a criminal but I am sorry it was not intended… ” Uwera said.
After Uwera’s teary prayer, High court judge Duncan Gaswaga sentenced her to 20 years in prison for murdering her husband. In January 2013, Uwera fatally knocked Nsenga at their home gate in Bugolobi. Justice Gaswaga declined to grant the prosecution request for the maximum death sentence. He said the couple’s two children would suffer more since they have already lost their father.
“However, I take note of the fact that Nsenga died of great pain having passed away five hours after the incident. Since in her mitigation, the convict says she is remorseful, sorry and ready to repent, in the circumstances I sentence her to 20 years imprisonment and the time she has spent on remand should be considered,” Gaswaga said.
He also reminded her that she could appeal if she felt dissatisfied. Before her sentencing, Isaac Walukagga, Uwera’s lead counsel, asked the judge to shelve the sentencing because there was no prescribed punishment for a person found guilty of murder.
Walukagga argued that before Uwera is sentenced, the issue should first be referred to the Constitutional court for interpretation.
But Gaswaga flatly rejected the application, describing it as “flawed” and a tactic to delay the sentencing process. In his ruling, Justice Gaswaga rejected the defence’s assertion that the case was premised on a property wrangle.
“… from the evidence I got, it is totally wrong for the defence to say that the case is about property,” Gaswaga said.
Mubiru Nsubuga, another defence lawyer, said Nsenga’s family had publicly forgiven Uwera, and only pursued the murder case when she refused to surrender her powers of attorney over the property. Gaswaga, however, said the deputy director of Criminal Investigations Geoffrey Musana confirmed the case wasn’t filed by Nsenga’s family. They were simply called to testify.
Intention to kill:
The judge further relied on the dying declarations of Nsenga. He said Nsenga told his father: It is Jackie who knocked me and not the gate.”
He told his brother Joseph Kananura: that “It was my first time to open for my wife and she has killed me using my own car.”
He said much as Nsenga was in pain, he was still in control of his mental faculties to the extent of correcting Joseph who tried to tell their brother that the gate had knocked him.
“There was bad blood between the two and this bad blood continued flowing even at the deceased’s deathbed. Every time the accused [Uwera] tried to enter the ward, the deceased could send her away,” the judge asserted.
He said since Uwera never sustained any injury and even used the same car, which she claimed had jerked, to take the deceased to hospital points to malice on her part. Nsenga’s family never showed up during both the conviction and sentencing. Uwera’s lawyers said they will appeal.
Source : The Observer