When John Wanja, the then Sironko District personnel officer, called his wife, Harriet Negesa, a sub-county chief of Buwaali in Bududa District, it was difficult to know he had ill motives.
It all started on August 25, 2014 when Wanja, a resident of Nabikingi village, Buwangani Town in Kaato Sub-county, Manafwa District, tricked his wife into going with him to buy land for their two children.
Wanja told Negesa that she needed to be a signatory in an agreement on the purchase of the land and she obliged to the request.
On the fateful day, the victim was at Buwaali Sub-county headquarters conducting a training session of people who were supposed to implement the national Identity card enrolment exercise.
While at the venue, she received a call from her husband requesting to meet her briefly.
After meeting for about 30 minutes, the couple was seen by the participants walking away thinking the victim was accompanying her husband.
Wanja then convinced the wife to pass through a short cut on the banks of River Manafwa which could lead them to the main road.
However, when they reached the isolated land site in Bunapolo village, Bubiita Sub-county, Bududa District, Wanja pulled out a machete, which he had been carrying in the bag, and hacked his wife. He aimed at her head but cut her hands as Negesa tried to protect her head.
Negesa sustained cuts on her head, legs and other parts of the body. His wife tried to plead with him to spare her life. When she tried to escape, Wanja pushed her into the water where he continued to cut her body until she lay helpless, before he ran away. A young boy who had gone to fetch water spotted Negesa and alerted residents.
Residents reported the incident to district police commander Ayatollah Kapchemut. Kapchemut and the district officer in charge of criminal investigations, Henry Akera, rushed to the scene as police officers took the victim to Bududa hospital.
She was referred to Mbale Referral Regional Hospital and later Kumi hospital.
A case of attempted murder was then registered at Bududa Central Police Station. Kapchemut assigned Akera to handle the case and ensure the culprit was arrested and prosecuted.
The two police officers also visited the victim at Bududa hospital that day.
According to police, the victim was almost lifeless, she could not talk at that time. They photographed her for investigations.
“The whole body had deep cuts with blood everywhere,” said Akera.
He said they opened a file to start investigating the matter to make sure the culprit is arrested.
However, according to Akera, it was difficult to investigate the case as most of the witnesses feared to record statements.
“I tried to convince them to record statements in order to have enough evidence, but they refused,” Akera said.
On August 29, 2015, he visited the victim at Kumi hospital and recorded a statement.