By Andate Okanya and Edward Anyoli
THE High Court in Kampala has sentenced businessman, Thomas Nkulungira a.k.a Tonku to death for murdering his girlfriend Brenda Karamuzi and dumping her body in a septic tank.
The sentence was handed down this afternoon by trial judge Justice Albert Rugadya-Atwooki.
According to prosecutors Brenda Karamuzi was murdered by the her boyfriend Tonku between January 21 and January 30 last year at Kijjwa zone-Bukasa in the Kampala suburb of Muyenga near Makindye. A fumigator discovered her decomposing body in the septic tank of Tonkuâ€™s house on January 30 last year.
Last Friday, the two court assessors Bernadette Kobusingye and Mary Akugizibwe advised court to convict Tonku for the murder, saying there was overwhelming evidence.
During the trial, prosecution led by senior principal state attorney Joan Kagezi produced 17 prosecution witnesses who testified.
The deceasedâ€™s mother Joy Karamuzi narrated that she last saw her daughter alive on January 20 last year.
Prosecution also produced other witnesses including police officers who investigated the case, and found blood stains on some walls of the house which connected to the deceased.
Also a post-mortem report on the deceased confirmed that she was brutally murdered with six stab wounds on both her neck and face.
In her testimony, Tonku's co-accused's girlfriend Joan Nakiira placed Tonku at the crime scene. She said she saw the deceased at Tonkuâ€™s house prior to her disappearance.
Prosecution claims Tonku murdered Brenda after she rejected his advances for a relationship, and trapped her by claiming he would connect her for a job placement.
Tonku's co-accused Ssempijja, represented by Janet Nakakande, did not produce any witnesses. He defended himself, saying he found the deceased already dead but only helped carry the body to the septic tank, which was eventually dumped by Tonku.
But in his defence, Tonku urged court to set him free on the basis of his evidence of alibi (absence from the scene of crime).He said he was with friends at the time, as they made funeral arrangements for a close fried Erias Kagimu who had passed away in America.
Tonku produced five defence witnesses. Four of them, who are his friends, defended him, saying they were at various pubs and at Kagimuâ€™s vigil at time of the alleged murder.
His lawyer Johnny Patrick Barenzi submitted that prosecution had failed to adduce evidence placing him at the murder scene. One of Tonkuâ€™s lawyers Ezekiel Nsubuga Mubiru officially pulled out of the case on June 29, citing threats to his life.
â€œThe defence witnesses were consistent and did not contradict themselves and they accounted for the whereabouts of Al(Tonku) at all material times,â€ Barenzi submitted.
Barenzi added that Tonku slept away from home on January 28 and 29, as he was avoiding a confrontation with his landlord over rent arrears of sh3m.