By Edward Anyoli
The High Court has confirmed that medical assistant Apollo Nyangasi strangled his wife, Christine Dambio, with whom they had two children.
“The accused is not an ordinary person. He is a medical practitioner, he should have known the consequences of squeezing a person’s neck,” Justice Jane Kiggundu said on Friday.
The court relied on evidence of the key witness, Fiona Aguram, who witnessed Nyangasi strangling his wife on July 29, 2010, after the couple had had a quarrel. By then, the two lived apart. Nyangasi lived in their house in Kireka, a Kampala suburb, while Dambio resided in a rented room about 30 feet away.
That morning, Nyangasi walked to his wife’s apartment and confronted her. He then grabbed her and started strangling her. It was only after the intervention of neighbours that he took his hands off Dambio.
Nyangasi then walked back to his house, leaving Dambio on the ground. Neighbours rushed her to a clinic in Bugolobi, a Kampala suburb, but on realising the gravity of the situation, the clinic referred Dambio to Mulago hospital, where she was pronounced dead on arrival.
Another prosecution witness, Brenda Namugo, who lived next to Dambio, said on the fateful day after beating his wife, Nyangasi said: “Nobody messes with me and gets away with it.”
Moses Higenyi, a brother of Dambio testified that Nyangasi threatened his wife’s life over property, which he said the relatives of his wife were planning to grab. Higenyi said his sister had expressed fear over death threats.
Another incriminating piece of evidence was that of a pathologist, Dr. Sylvester Ozivua, who clarified that although Dambio had pneumonia, her death was a result of strangling and not the infection.
On the basis of the evidence presented, prosecution led by principal state attorney, Jane Okuo, asked court to sentence Nyangasi to death.
“Throughout the trial, the accused showed no remorse. He chose to kill his wife, the mother of their two children. He deserves the maximum sentence which is punishable by death,” Okuo said.
Nyangasi, however, insists he did not kill his wife. “With due respect to court’s finding, I did not kill my wife. I am a child of God and I fear the Lord. My clear conscience will be proved later. God is the best judge,” Nyangasi said. Court pronounced on Friday that it was convinced beyond reasonable doubt that Nyangasi had caused the death of his wife.
Nyangasi will have to wait until Tuesday for his sentence.