Court name
Supreme Court of Uganda
Case number
SCCRA 14 of 2009
Judgment date
17 August 2010

Namwanje Pauline v Uganda (SCCRA 14 of 2009) [2010] UGSC 5 (17 August 2010);

Cite this case
[2010] UGSC 5














NAMWANJE PAULINE :::::::::::::::::::::::: APPELLANT



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


{Appeal from the decision of the Court of Appeal at Kampala (Engwau, Kitumba and Nshimye, JJA.) dated 7th August, 2009 in Criminal Appeal No.62 of 2003}






This is a second appeal arising from the decision of the Court of Appeal confirming the conviction of the appellant, Namwanje Pauline, by the High Court for murder. She was sentenced to death.


The facts of this case as found by the two Courts below are simple. The deceased, Urita Mukabuye, her mother Everlyn Kambabi Nalongo [PW5] and her daughter Najjuko Nunsiana, [PW4] and the appellant, Namwanje Pauline, lived on the same village called Kasambya. So did Katalanga, the husband of the appellant.


By 2001, Kintu Francis [PW6] was the Local Council Chairman [LC1] of that village. He had been such Chairman since 1986. Sometime back, before the murder of the deceased, the husband of the appellant allowed PW5 to cultivate and grow crops on his land. The appellant who had not been consulted on the matter did not like this. At one time, PW6, a very close neighbour to the appellant, instituted a criminal case against the appellant who he suspected to have stolen his matooke. She was acquitted. As evidence in this case reveals, it seems relationship between PW6 and the appellant was not all that good.


The death of the deceased occurred on 31/10/2000 and what happened was dramatically narrated by PW5 [an old woman aged 70 years] to the trial court as follows:

On 31st October, 2000 the deceased went to the garden. She had gone to collect onions and beans. She raised an alarm when she found accused stealing beans. I answered the alarm. When I reached the garden ………………………… I asked deceased what was wrong. She told me Paulina Wife of Kafalanga was found stealing beans. It was in the evening. I cannot tell the specific time. The deceased showed where Namwanje had uprooted them and I saw where the beans had been thrown. The deceased suggested that we go and report the theft. I agreed with her. Before we left the deceased suggested that she should go back and collect the beans and treat them as exhibits. We had moved a distance from the spot where the beans were. The deceased went back. I proceeded to go and report the incident. On reaching Chairman’s place I reported. The Chairman asked for an exhibit. I told him the deceased had gone back to collect the exhibit. The Chairman said that we wait for her. We waited for the deceased but she did not come. I went to check on the deceased. I called Najjuko to go with me. It was dark and a rainy season. Najjuko accompanied me. We got a torch. The torch was held by Najjuko. It was bright. We proceeded to the garden where the deceased had gone. We were not talking. Najjuko flashed the torch. I saw Namwanje. She was bending. She was undressing the deceased. There was a man standing nearby. I did not identify this man. He was armed with a stick. Both Namwanje and the man run away. We also run as we raised an alarm. The alarm was answered by one, Kaloori. Kaloori asked us what the problem was. I told Kaloori that Paulina had killed my daughter. Kaloori went to report to the Chairman L.C.1. Many people gathered. They found us on the way. We had feared to go where the body was. We led the people to where the body was. The body was at the boundary between