Tale of Busia love triangle, alleged fight with pastor, and death
On the night of 19th September 2020, Allan Ouma Mubiro alias Salim, returned to home in Malomba village, Butula within Busia County only to find a pastor in a compromising position with his late brother’s widow.
Mr. Mubiro had inherited his late brother’s wife and she was allegedly having affairs with pastor Fredrick Akwera Omusanga prompting him to lay an ambush to trap the pastor.
The two men fought inside a house where the widow lived in Mubiro’s compound and Mubiro killed Omusanga and hanged him on the rafters with a rope before he went out awakening neighbours who he informed that he had caught a thief in his house.
After hanging Omusanga’s body Mr. Mubiro went to his neighbor Francis Juma Baraza’s home and informed him that he had apprehended a thief.
Mubiro was at the time holding a piece of timber and had a mobile phone torch on.
Mubiro led the way to his homestead and pointed at a locked house in which the thief was allegedly confined. He did not open the house and instead left the scene to call other people.
In the process, Baraza alerted the area village elder locally known as “Omwami” who arrived at the scene and found that Mubiro had returned with other villagers.
Mubiro was told to open the locked house which he declined and said he would only open in the presence of Omusanga’s wife.
When he later opened, the villagers confirmed blood stains in the house and found the alleged thief – Omusanga in one of the rooms hanging and they suspected he had hanged himself.
The actual owner of the house – the widow at the centre of the two men’s fatal fight was also missing and was never found. The police arrived later and removed the body of the deceased to the mortuary.
Police and the villagers noted that Omusanga’s body had multiple injuries and also noted traces of a fight.
Police gathered that the two male lovers of the widow – Mubiro and Omusanga met in the widow’s house and a violent confrontation occurred between them leading to the death of the deceased.
Mr. Mubiro vanished as the villagers still gathered in his compound and went into hiding.
A postmortem examination of Omusanga’s body established that he had died of hypoxia due to a tight cord around the neck. This means that the deceased died from oxygen deficiency occasioned by strangulation of the neck by use of a tight cord or rope strings.
Mr. Mubiro was suspected of having caused the death of the deceased and was traced and arrested at his hideout in Kakamega County then charged with the murder of Omusanga contrary to section 203 as read with 204.
He denied the charges before justice Joseph Raphael Karanja of Busia High Court and the case went into full trial.
The prosecution called 12 witnesses to testify against Mr. Mubiro including his neighbor Francis Baraza who he first summoned to his home after killing Omusanga, police constable Peter Wekesa who was among the police team that arrived at the scene after the incident, and pathologist who tabled the postmortem report – among others.
Mr. Mubiro contended that he did not kill the deceased as alleged and claimed that Omusanga hanged himself.
He told the court that he did not fight with Omusanga even though he was shocked to find him, a pastor, inside his house at night.
“It is apparent from the foregoing evidential facts that the deceased was found dead with strings or ropes around his neck inside a house which belonged to the accused’s inherited wife who allegedly disappeared from the scene after the incident,” justice Karanjah ruled.
Justice Karanjah noted that the death of the deceased was a mystery revolving around two narratives – firstly, that, the deceased committed suicide by hanging himself after being caught “red-handed” in the Mr. Mubiro’s matrimonial bedroom with the Mr. Mubiro’s inherited wife, widow to his late brother – as floated by Mr. Mubiro.
And secondly, according to the prosecution, Omusanga was caught by Mr. Mubiro in the matrimonial home of the widowed wife and was in the process attacked and fatally injured by Mr. Mubiro who strangled him with pieces of strings to appear as if the deceased had killed himself.
Justice Karanja also pointed out that no direct evidence was availed against Mr. Mubiro as the person who would have provided such evidence was the inherited wife but both Mubiro and prosecution indicated that she disappeared from the area when events were unfolding or had already unfolded.
And this is the reason the prosecution therefore resorted to charging Mr. Mubiro on the basis of circumstantial evidence which raised suspicion that the deceased was strangled and killed by Mr. Mubiro.
“The suspicion was aroused by Mr. Mubiro’s conduct of awakening some of his village neighbours and telling them that he had apprehended a thief in his house and locked him therein. But, when the villagers arrived at the scene, he declined to unlock the house immediately and when he eventually did, the villagers were shocked to find the dead body of the deceased in a manner suggesting that he had killed himself,” Justice Karanja stated in his ruling.
“It was further indicated by the officer (constable Wekesa) that the impression created at the scene of the offence was that the deceased had hanged himself but there were some “tale tell” signs at the scene such as blood stains inside the house, injuries on the body of the deceased and traces of fight which all indicated that the deceased was a victim of an unlawful act.”
In his defence after he was found to have a case to answer, Mr. Mubiro told a tale of the fateful night’s event and in the process implied that the deceased was the thief who stole his wife’s affection from him and due to his guilt as a man of God (pastor) he could not face the world anymore and decided to kill himself.
He further claimed that he did not lay a finger on the “thief” and if he did, that his intention was not to hurt the thief.
But justice Karanjah said that this was discredited and disproved by the “tale tell” signs found at the scene of the offence together with traces of a fight as well as his conduct of disappearing from the scene of the offence after the body of the deceased was found in his house and prior to that.
The judge said that also in the discrediting pattern was Mr. Mubiro’s conduct of awakening his neighbours and announcing that he had apprehended a thief and locked him inside his house only for him (Mr. Mubiro) to refuse to open the house immediately the villagers accompanied him back to the scene.
“All the foregoing factors provided strong and credible circumstantial evidence against the accused indicating that he was the person responsible for strangling the deceased and attempted to hide the fact by making it appear that the deceased had committed suicide,” the judge stated.
“The motive for his action was to cause harm to the deceased after finding him half naked with his wife in their matrimonial bedroom. The presence of the deceased in the accused’s (Mr. Mubiro’s) house provided the accused (Mr. Mubiro) with the greatest opportunity to execute his ill-motive.”
The judge said that unfortunately, the consequences were more than Mubiro had bargained for such that his defence could not come to his rescue. Infact, it ended up portraying him as the villain rather than a saint.
“It is therefore the finding of this court that the circumstantial evidence provided herein by the prosecution did credibly prove and establish beyond reasonable doubt that the accused was criminally responsible for the death of the deceased,” riled the judge.
“He decided to mete out his brand of punishment against a person he considered to be a thief of love or if you like, “mwizi wa mapenzi”. In so doing, he came into conflict with the law.”