Analysis of forensic evidence in the Kiruhura murders part 2

Saturday March 21 2020

 

By Dr Sylvester Onzivua

Three women were present in the homestead of DK, a prominent farmer in Kiruhura District, when the farmer was killed, along with five of his workers at the farm, on the night of Friday, August 16, 2013.

One of these women was NM, a 19-year-old student, a grandchild of the farmer. DK took to looking after NM and paying her school fees when her biological father left home.

NM’s evidence was given in camera and during her testimony, she positively identified one of the accused as the assailant, who killed her grandfather and raped her. She also identified her paternal grandmother, her father’s two sisters and brother, who were charged alongside the assailant.

NM used to sleep in the sitting room that was adjacent to, and leading to her grandfather’s bedroom, a bedroom that he shared with JK, his second wife. NM slept in this room with the four-year-old child.

NM told court that she was awakened by her grandfather, who asked her to make an alarm in response to one being made by one of the workers. She also tried to secure the door by ensuring that it was properly locked from the inside. However, at this point, the door was forcefully opened and an assailant entered the house.

The assailant found her next to the door and ordered her to stay there and went straight to the bedroom door, where the assailant found her grandfather trying to close the bedroom door.

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The assailant then entered her grandfather’s bedroom, hit him with a hammer and cut him with a machete in the neck. NK told court that although it was dark, she was able to witness the killing of her grandfather as the assailant had a torch.

The assailant threatened to kill NK if she made any noise. Before he went out, he locked them in the room and proceeded to fight with the worker, who had raised the initial alarm.

After killing the worker, the assailant returned to NK and JK, the second wife of DK and demanded for money and the documents of the vehicle. The assailant was given some money by the widow and after that, he then searched a suitcase under the bed from which he took an army uniform.

The assailant took the items to the car, returned to the house for the second time and then demanded NK to “come here”. NK and the assailant then went outside, into the car and the assailant opened the boot of the car and told NK to “sleep there” and threatened to kill her the same way he had killed the others.

The assailant further asked NK to remove her underwear, which she did and thereafter the assailant had sex with her, which lasted for an estimated period of about 10 minutes. NK told court that out of fear, she did not offer any resistance or do anything else.

The assailant then took her out of the car, back to the house and locked the house from outside.
In the house, NK told court that she went into the bedroom, sat on the bed together with JK and heard the car being driven away. She told JK about what had happened to her in the car thereafter.

NK told court that as she went to the car with the assailant, she saw, lying in the compound, the body of the worker, who raised the initial alarm.

In the morning, NK and DK’s second wife pushed the four- year-old child through the window to open the door for the house maid, who had been locked in her room. The maid then opened the door for NK and DK’s second wife to come out. After that, the maid proceeded to report the case to police, who came and took away the bodies.

There was a small hut in the compound built with dry banana leaves and covered with turplin, in which two other workers slept. The two workers were responsible for clearing the farm. The house was some distance from where the women slept.

Apparently, the three women were not aware that the two workers in that hut had also been killed. NK was only aware of the death of the two workers when the police came and took away their bodies. NK did not know their names as she only saw them the day she returned from school.

Two other workers were also killed in their rooms in the building, in which DK was killed. The number of people therefore killed that night in DK’s compound was six, including DK himself.

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