Court name
Supreme Court of Uganda
Judgment date
21 July 2006

Mureeba and Ors v Uganda (Criminal Appeal-2003/13) [2006] UGSC 7 (21 July 2006);

Cite this case
[2006] UGSC 7
Short summary:

Criminal law

THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA

 

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF UGANDA

AT MENGO

 

(CORAM: ODER, TSEKOOKO, KAROKORA, MULENGA AND KANYEIHAMBA, JJ.S.C)

 

CRIMINAL APPEAL No.13 OF 2003

 

BETWEEN

 

1. MUREEBA JANET ]

 

  1. ALIGA ISMAIL ] ::::::::::::::::: APPELLANTS

 

  1. BYARUHANGA KASSIM ]

 

AND

 

UGANDA :::::::::::::::::::::: RESPONDENT

 

[Appeal from the judgment of the Court of Appeal at Kampala (Mpagi-Bahigeine, Engwau and Kitumba, JJ.A) dated 23rd March, 2001) in Criminal Appeal No.56 of 2000]

 

JUDGMENT OF THE COURT

 

The three appellants, Mureeba Janet (A1), Aliga Ismail (A2) and Byaruhanga Kassim(A3) were convicted by the High Court (Kania, J) after a full trial on two counts of murder and they were each sentenced to death. The prosecution case and the conviction of the appellants were based on circumstantial evidence.

Their appeals to the Court of Appeal were dismissed. They have now appealed against that decision.

The prosecution alleged that on 6th of June, 1999, at Ntinda village, the three appellants together with other persons, murdered Namara Norah, alias, Peace Kamusiime (1st deceased) and Gabriela Mureeba d/o Charles Mureeba (2nd deceased).

 

The evidence adduced by the prosecution and the facts found by the two courts below show that there was a struggle of two women for the heart of one man, Charles Mureeba. He was a brother of the Director of the Population Secretariat in the Ministry of Finance, where the 1st deceased worked as a receptionist. The second deceased was the offspring of the relationship between Charles and the first deceased. The two deceased lived together in Ntinda, a suburb of Kampala, at the time they were murdered.

 

The prosecution adduced evidence to the effect that the first deceased was a long time girl friend (or customary wife) of Charles Mureeba who was the husband of the first appellant. It is not clear when the first deceased and Charles started cohabiting together as wife and husband. However, the evidence shows that in 1996, when the first deceased was working at the Uganda Population Secretariat as a telephone operator/receptionist, Charles hired a house for her in Kamwokya, a suburb of Kampala, where she had a neighbour called Kato Muhammad (PW1).

 

At some point in time she introduced Charles to Muhammad. In 1997, the first deceased informed PW1 about