The murder trial of Dr Aggrey Kiyingi

What you need to know:

Robinah was a prominent city lawyer and one of the most senior women lawyers in the country

Medicine,  Law & You

On July 11, 2005, at about 8pm Robinah Erina Kiyingi, in her 50s and a mother of four, left her office and drove, in a Toyota Mark ll, to her home in Konge, Buziga, Makindye Division in Kampala.

She worked with Kiyingi & Co Advocates located on Dewinton Road. At about 8:40pm, her housemaid was not surprised when she heard a single hoot at the gate.


It was the usual time for Robinah to return home. As she rushed to open the gate, the hooting became endless and was followed by gunshots and screams. The housemaid was forced to retreat and run for dear life.


Minutes later the police found the blood stained body of Robinah Kiyingi in the car. The killers had sprayed a hail of bullets in her body, one of them shuttering her skull in the process.

The assailants did not take anything from her but rode off and dropped the killer gun nearby. It was apparent that Robinah Kiyingi’s assailants had either trailed her from the city or had waited for her at her gate. Several murders of similar nature had occurred in the past and investigations in most of these cases had been inconclusive.

Robinah Kiyingi was a prominent city lawyer and one of the most senior women lawyers in the country. At the time of her death she was the acting chairperson of Transparency International, a leading anti-corruption organisation.


She was married to Dr Aggrey Kiyingi, a Ugandan doctor practicing in Australia. The doctor was the proprietor of Dehezi International, a computer firm based in Kampala. There were several speculations of the cause of her murder, including handling sensitive cases, and family feud.

Robinah Kiyingi and Dr Aggrey Kiyingi were elite students at Gayaza High School and Kings College Budo respectively in their school days before they met at Makerere University as students. They later wedded in 1977.

During the dictatorial and fascist regime of Idi Amin, the couple relocated to Kenya and around 1981 moved to Australia. Dr Kiyingi then undertook a number of specialized training in various International Institutions of world repute and became a heart specialist.

During the couple’s stay in Australia, they acquired a lot of property, both in Australia and Uganda. They two also formed a powerful company called Dehezi International Ltd in Kampala where Robinah Kiyingi was a director.

Shaky marriage

The marriage between the Kiyingis had been on the rocks for over eight years. It was the prosecution theory that over time Dr Kiyingi and his wife developed a protracted irreconcilable misunderstandings and differences in both their marriage and company affairs which tore their relationship asunder.

Their marriage became characterized by fault findings, quarrels, fights, neglect, abuses and eventual desertion, meted out on the deceased by her husband, Dr Kiyingi. 

Five years prior to her death, Robinah Kiyingi had returned to Uganda from Australia and pulled out of Dehezi International Ltd to form her own private legal practice and to engage in other work and social activities independent of her husband Dr Kiyingi.

She, however, continued living in the family residence at Buziga while Dr Kiyingi who virtually deserted her, remained in Australia with the children most of the time. All efforts by family members and leading personalities to reconcile the marriage ended in vain. The couple remained on bad terms up to the time Robinah was killed.


In 2003 Dr Kiyingi filed divorce proceedings in Uganda against his wife. Robinah surprised her husband when she challenged the jurisdiction of the Courts in Uganda in the matter and filed similar proceedings in the Australian Court, where she thought and believed her property interests and other interests would be better catered for because of the property the family had in Australia and by the fact that she had a dual citizenship in Australia and Uganda.  The property was in the names of both of them. This move is alleged to have greatly angered Dr Kiyingi who is then supposed to have threatened that his wife would lose everything. By the time Robinah was killed the two cases were still pending in both Uganda and Australia.

At the time Robinah was killed her husband Dr Aggrey Kiyingi was already cohabiting in Australia with a young girl called Ida Nakubulwa whom he desired to marry.  He had also cut off all dealings with and any form of help to his wife. Whenever he would come to Uganda he would stay elsewhere. He had stopped paying utility bills and had caused electricity and water to be disconnected from the family home at Buziga where Robinah lived with only one house girl and a shamba boy.

Shortly before Robinah was shot, Dr Kiyingi sneaked to Uganda and went secretly to Buziga and removed some property, which included a television set and a music system. Soon after Robinah was shot Dr Kiyingi called from Australia to find out what was going on before issuing instructions for burial arrangements.


Police investigations led to the recovery of a gun and other items close to the scene of the crime. Further investigations led to the arrest of Dr Kiyingi, Charles Berwanaho and a police officer Mugisha Bob who were arraigned before court and indicted for murder. Charles Berwanaho was a close friend of Dr Kiyingi and also his employee at Dehezi International. Bob Mugisha was a police officer closely associated with Dr Kiyingi and used to provide him with escort and personal bodyguard services at the instructions of Government.

To be continued…