BBrian Bagyenda Kaka, 32, a son of Director General of Internal Security Organisation (ISO) Col Bagyenda Kaka, was yesterday condemned to 32 years in jail with his co-convicts for murdering his girlfriend Enid Twijukye.
His defence that he had a history of mental illness was rejected by the High Court.
During the trial, Bagyenda’s lawyers had argued that he was burdened by depression at the time he committed the murder and was, therefore, not in a proper state of mind to be criminally liable under the law.
However, trial Judge Moses Kazibwe Kawumi dismissed the defence argument.
“It is my finding that A1 (Bagyenda) was in his right senses on the January 4, 2017, and together with A2 (Innocent Bainomugisha) and A3 (Vincent Rwahwire) caused the death of Enid Twijukye with malice aforethought,” the judge ruled.
“It is also my finding that A1 (Bagyenda) was mentally sound at the time that Dr Santos Ojara examined him on the January 21, 2017, and the plea was properly taken since the concern about his inability was not raised by counsel at the time. I entirely agree with the opinion of the single lady assessor who sat through all the hearings and advised me to find all the accused guilty,” he added.
The judge, in his reasoning for convicting Bagyenda, cited the evidence of medical experts, Dr Ojara and Dr Jane Frances Nantamu, that depression is not a permanent state of mental instability. Dr Nantamu described depression as “mood swings.”
The judge also quoted evidence of medical experts, Dr Julius Omuron and Dr Brian Mutamba, that not all mental illness patients lose their faculty of determining what is right or wrong until they hit severe levels. He noted that Bagyenda’s own narration of events of the fateful day pointed to a normal state of mind when he committed the murder.
The judge said the experts on mental health agreed that Bagyenda did not display homicidal tendencies during their respective interactions with him before and after the offence was committed
Bagyenda is a pharmacist by profession.
In his confession statement, Bagyenda said on the fateful day, he picked Twijukye from her home in Bweyogerere, a city suburb, and took her to his residence in Luzira, Kampala.
He added that when she fell asleep, he scrolled through her phone messages and came across communication between her and another man with photos, which he forwarded to his phone set.
He further revealed that his girlfriend was evasive when he confronted her with the information and that he noticed that she was no longer going to be with him yet he had spent a lot on her.
At this time he planned to “sort” out the matter with her and he telephoned his accomplices (Bainomugisha and Rwahwire), who lived in his neighbourhood to come over to his house..
“I kept the TV loud and held the curtain of the window to avoid exposure. This happened in the absence of the maid whom I had sent to do shopping at Kalerwe Market. By the time she returned (maid), we were still in argument. I gave her (maid) money and asked her to go and take a soda outside as I still had some guests. At around 23 hours, Enid died on my bed where she was strangled by Bainomugisha and Rwahwire under my supervision,” the judge quoted Bagyenda’s confession statement.
The judge held that the long confession statement by Bagyenda, detailing what happened on the fateful day, further proves he was in his normal senses when he murdered his girlfriend and should be squarely liable.
“The sending of the maid to Kalerwe Market from Luzira other than to any of the nearby markets, the sending away of the maid to take soda on her return, the act of increasing the volume of the TV and drawing the curtains followed by the dumping of the body to destroy evidence and the change of identity while booking into Voyageur Hotel do not show that A1 (Bagyenda) was out of his normal senses,” the judge observed.
Bagyenda’s lawyers had asked court to disregard the conclusions reached by Dr Ojara about Bagyenda’s mental health on January 21, 2017, and they blamed police detectives for not subjecting their client to a mental checkup before he pleaded to the charges.
His lawyers further submitted that much as Dr Omuron had said most mental illness patients retain their sense of discerning right from wrong, Bagyenda did not qualify to be among that majority.
The lawyers asked court to find that Bagyenda killed his girlfriend but with a diminished responsibility and subject him to the requirements of Section 194 (3) of the Penal Code Act.
The section states that where a person is found guilty of the murder or of being a party to the murder of another, and court is satisfied that he or she was suffering from such abnormality of mind, the court shall make a special finding to the effect that the accused was guilty of murder but with diminished responsibility…. and the court shall not sentence the convicted person to death but shall order him or her to be detained in safe custody.
The prosecution, on the other hand, led by Ms Joan Keko, and Mr Joseph Kyomuhendo, submitted that Bagyenda was in proper mental status and committed the offence with malice aforethought with his two accomplices.
The judge concurred with the prosecution submission that Bagyenda’s narrative about how he planned and executed the murder was not compatible with a person suffering from mental instability.
The prosecution asked the judge to find Bagyenda guilty of murder based on his undisputed confession among other evidence, which the judge did.
The judge also stated that none of Bagyenda’s witnesses informed court about his mental status at the time he committed the offence on January 4, 2017.
The judge added that the last known mental status of Bagyenda was the report of improvement on November 7, 2016 which was close to 60 days before the offence was committed.
Mr Wilson Tibegaya, the father of the deceased, said Twijukye’s death was a big loss because the family had spent a lot on her in school fees.
Bagyenda and his co-convicts killed her ( Twijukye) on January 4, 2017 at Plot 2 Njobe Road in Luzira, Nakawa Division in Kampala.
Her body was found dumped in a bush along Jinja Road near Seeta after phone call printouts revealed she had been in constant touch with Bagyenda.
Bagyenda was arrested by police after Twijukye’s burial following the phone tracking. After killing her, Bagyenda paid his accomplices Shs200, 000 each for the job.
Who was Enid Twijukye?
At the time of her death, Enid Twijukye, 22, was studying a business course at Ndejje University.
The deceased, who hailed from Kazo District, had been staying with her elder sister in Bweyogerere, Wakiso District, for five years.
Twijukye was the third born in a family of five.
She studied at Bweranyangi Girls Secondary School in Bushenyi District for O-Level before enrolling for her A-Level at Naalya SS near Kampala.
One of her family members, only identified as David, described Twijukye as a calm girl. Her elder sister said she didn’t know Twijukye was in love with Bagyenda.
She said they only knew about her other boyfriend who was staying in New York.
Twijukye was suffocated with three pillow cases when her limbs were tied up leading to her death.