On the morning of June 11, 2009, hundreds of Buyinja Zone dwellers in Nangabo Sub-county in Wakiso District converged near Dr kizza Besigye’s gate, all eyes were fixed to one point. Blood was all over; a lifeless body of a young man with several wounds lay on the ground. He is known to many dwellers around the area since he was a resident just metres away from Dr Besigye, the former leader of Forum for Democratic Change’s home.
All residents identified him as Henry Sekibule, a husband and father of four children.
On the night of June 10, 2009, ill-intentioned people stormed his home, pulled him out of his bedroom as his family looked on, then hacked him to death. The assailants fled after the incident.
Like any good citizen, Dr Besigye’s watchman, Robert Berocan and another lady only identified as Namayanja, ran to the police and reported the unfortunate incident that had happened to his neighbour.
Kasangati Police Station immediately sent Detective Constable Godfrey Okiriza to find out if what had been reported was true. He confirmed to his bosses that there had been a murder.
Search for the killer
Hurriedly, a team was set up to visit the scene and carry out investigations.
Detective Assistant Inspector of Police Iman Were attached to the then Special Investigation Unit led investigations. “As our colleagues secured the scene, we searched around the area in hope of finding traces of the killers in vain,” Mr Were says.
Mr Berocan guided the police team around the area and they also ensured he was present when they were carrying out major examinations. “He took us to points where the suspects could have possibly used to run away. He was so helpful. He said he was deeply hurt by the killing of his neighbour,” officer Were says.
At the home of the deceased, his widow, Grace Nakalyango sat speechless. Sekibule, the family’s breadwinner had died, leaving her to single-handedly raise their four young children.
As is the routine in homicide investigations, police talked to Sekibule’s widow, the last person the victim was seen with. Nakalyango told detectives they were sleeping when someone knocked at their door. She opened to see who the person was but the strangers forced their way in shoving her away.
The strangers holding machetes, walked straight into their bedroom where her husband was and started hacking him. She swiftly picked her children whose room was near the door, and fled in fear. By the time she got back, her sweetheart was long gone.
It was clear, detective Were says, the attack was carried out by people who accessed the house from outside.
At the scene of crime, officers noticed trails of a scuffle in the deceased’s bedroom. Detectives now had to establish the motive of the killers. The deceased seemed not to have had enemies at his workplace and home. “I had been to many funerals but I have never seen a relaxed widow like Nakalyango. The widow seemed not to be bothered,” Were says, adding: “I said I need to talk to this woman again”.
After analysing his notes, he went back to the widow (Nakalyango) to ask more questions. “I asked her to narrate to me how the attackers accessed the house. She told me the story she had narrated before. Then I asked her how she was able to open the door for the people she didn’t know,” he says.
Narration not adding up
Nakalyango cleared the air with an addition that she and her children were suffering from diarrhoea. As she opened the door to get out to easy herself, the murderers confronted her.
“What a coincidence!” the officer wondered.
“What happened after they entered the house?” the officer asked.
“They shoved me and I fell down. They then ran straight to the bedroom where my husband was,” Nakalyango said.
“Then?” the officer continued.
“I got back to my feet. The first thing on my mind was to pick my children and run out of the house with them,” she answered.
“Did you raise an alarm?” the officer shot another question.
“No!” she said.
“Why,” he dug more.
“I was afraid,” she replied.
“Later, when you came back. Did you find anything missing in the house?” he wondered.
“Nothing was taken,” she confirmed.
She was asked if she suspected anyone to have carried out the attack and her answer was, “no”.
It was now apparent the attackers weren’t interested in property or money but life. Detectives had to piece up evidence to find out the motive of the killers.
“For sure, I wasn’t satisfied with the answers. I doubted whether a person attacked can run without raising an alarm. I doubted that killers can allow the woman, who could have probably seen them killing her loved one, to pick her children and ran away,” he says.
He dug deeper into the deceased’s family ties.
In an interaction with the area defence secretary Joseph Kasozi, he told detectives that the deceased had recently married a second wife, which caused unending wrangles in the family.
And that Nakalyango had warned Sekibule that if he didn’t end the relationship with the new wife, both would lose him.
Kasozi told detectives that when he heard about it, he quickly advised Sekibule to separate the two wives by taking one to the village to avoid fights. However, Sekibule took it for granted.
Detectives jumped on to the clue. Evidence collected from the bedroom didn’t show that she physically participated in the killing.
A scene of crime officer was sent back to the bedroom to preserve shoeprints and compare them with those found near the deceased’s body. Other detectives were to track and examine communication data of the deceased, his friends and close relatives including his widow.
Print-out analyses pointed to calls made at night by the widow on the fateful day.
Police then confiscated the widow’s mobile phone.
More print-outs were extracted from MTN to establish who she had talked to.
Detectives made calls to the number, it was switched off. Print-outs of questionable contacts were extracted. However, they indicated that the line was only used that day.
The owner of the simcard couldn’t be found. They turned to the hand set serial number that was obtained from MTN. Detectives were shocked to learn that the phone was in use but with another simcard inserted. They were able to establish the mobile phone number of the person using the handset and she was a lady known as Fatuma.
Detectives analysed her communication data and picked a contact of one person she often called. That person was in Arua, West Nile. “I called Fatuma and tricked her that I had a message for her from her friend in Arua and she should come and pick it,” he says, adding: “Fatuma came running. We arrested her. We told her that she stole a mobile phone. She insisted that the phone was hers.”
Detectives just wanted to know the owner of phone and how she got it. Fatuma was quizzed on how she used her handset on the night of June 10.
Catching the assailants
She told detectives she gave it to Berocan to charge it since they were workmates at Dr Besigye’s farm. “That is when we remembered that Berocan was the man who reported the murder case to us,” he says.
Basing on their earlier relationship, detectives called Berocan to police to bail out his colleague, Fatuma, since the case was “minor”. He came and he was instead detained. Sekibule’s widow was also picked and arrested.
Nakalyango was tasked to explain her business with the person who called her more than eight times on the fateful day yet the contact wasn’t saved in her phonebook. She feigned ignorance about the caller until a print-out was presented to her. She then opened up saying it was Berocan’s contact though she insisted they were just good neighbours.
“I informed her that Berocan was already in police custody and lied to her that Berocan had revealed to us everything,” he says. She thought everything had been exposed. She broke down.
Detective Superintendent George Mpungu recorded her confession about her marriage failing after her husband got a new wife. She said soon after her husband got a new wife, her children started getting demon attacks. She suspected the new wife of sending the demons.
Later, she consulted Berocan on how to resolve the matter. Berocan advised her to eliminate Sekibule before he kills her. Berocan told her he would help if she paid him Shs370,000. She pondered over when to carry out the attack.
The final move
Nakalyango told detective Mpungu that on the fateful day, she opened the door for Berocan and his two accomplices, handed over the money to Berocan and fled with her children.
Berocan and his accomplice were left to do the work they were paid for.
After the confession, Berocan was taken for a search in his house. During the search, a simcard which was inserted in Fatuma’s handset on the day of the murder was recovered.
Detectives also recovered shoes, whose soles had been cut off. Forensic scientists later confirmed that particles on the shoes were identical to those found in Sekibule’s bedroom.
Both Nakalyango and Berocan were taken to court but denied killing Sekibule.
In June, 2014, after a long battle in court, Justice Wilson Masalu Musene agreed with the State that the duo had killed Sekibule. He sentenced Berocan and Nakalyango to 35 years and 25 years in jail, respectively.
147 male killed in domestic violence annually
In domestic violence, many people think it is only the females on the receiving end.
But males are equally victims of domestic violence. Of the 7,805 victims of domestic violence, 2,335 were males, according to the crime report of 2013.
Police statistics shows that more males were killed in domestic violence cases in 2013 than females.
Of the 360 people who were killed as a result of aggravated domestic violence, 183 were males while 177 were females. The report shows that property wrangles between the partners and extra-marital affairs are among the biggest cause of domestic violence.
By 2013, 200 cases were taken to court, six convictions were secured, one case was dismissed and 193 cases were still pending in court. Another 115 cases were still under investigations.