The Court of Appeal in Kampala has upheld the 20-year sentence handed to Jackie Uwera Nsenga by the High Court over the murder of her husband and businessman, Juvenal Nsenga.
In 2014, Justice Duncan Gaswaga sentenced Nsenga to 20 years’ imprisonment after being found guilty of knocking dead her husband as the climax of their domestic wrangles prompting her to appeal against the sentence.
On Monday, three justices of the Court of Appeal including Alphonse Owiny-Dollo, Elizabeth Musoke and Cheborion Barishaki ruled that there was nothing that would warrant overturning the lower court’s earlier decision.
“We state that the learned trial judge was alive to the law on malice aforethought, he considered the facts in issue in the present case and addressed the evidence on each of the facts in issue before coming up to the correct decision to convict the appellant,” the judges ruled.
The trio explained that evidence adduced during trial indicated that there was no evidence to prove that by knocking dead her husband, Nsenga’s actions were accidental as she had said in her appeal.
The judges however noted that everything points to a premeditated murder by Nsenga against her husband after having misunderstandings in their marriage.
“We take the view that the appellant’s conduct in ramming into the gate which the deceased was opening for her was not accidental. It is immaterial that the appellant didn’t know that it was the deceased who was opening the gate as we would still have found her guilty of murder.”
There was malice
The judges of the Court of Appeal insisted that there was malice when Jackie Nsenga knocked dead her husband, noting that it cannot be proved directly by rather through circumstantial evidence as was done by the trial judge.
“In analyzing the point on malice aforethought, the learned trial judge based on a number of factors including the dying declarations, the threats to prosecution witness number seven and the deceased, marital acrimony in the appellant marriage with the deceased and the conduct of the appellant before, during and after the commission of the crime.’
The judges noted that the manner in which the deceased was repeatedly overran with the vehicle which resulted into his death also pointed to malice by the lady.
“Accordingly, the trial court’s decision to convict the appellant of the offence of murder contrary to section 188 and 189 of the Penal Code Act, cap 120 and to sentence her to 20 years imprisonment for that conviction is affirmed,” the judges ruled.