Uganda: Man Admits Ritual Murder, Becomes State Witness

12 November 2019

One of the persons implicated in ritual killing and burial of five people in a shrine in Kisoga Village, Nazigo Sub-county in Kayunga District has been sentenced to five years in prison after he pleaded guilty.

Joseph Kibuuka, alias Junior, pleaded guilty to murder charges but court reduced the charge to being an accessory to the murder under the plea bargain process.

After the sentencing, Kibuuka turned into a prosecution witness. He entered the witness box and testified against the five other accused persons with whom he had been indicted for murder of five people among them Zulaika Nansamba Mirembe.

Other suspects are Ssebuyungo alias Owen Sonko (witchdoctor/ herbalist); Muhammad Wamala alias Vincent Bob; James Lutwama; Fred Kiiza Ssemanda and Issa Walakira.

In his testimony, Kibuuka said the deceased Mirembe came to Ssebuyungo's shrine one evening in May and they had a meal with her and Wamala in a trading centre before going back to Ssebuyungo's shrine.

"At around 9pm, we (Wamala, Mirembe and Barbara, a sister of Ssebuyungo) drove back and they dropped me at my place near Ssebuyungo's shrine. Wamala told me not to close the door because he was to sleep at my place but he did not come. In the morning when I went to clean the shrine, I found a fresh grave and did not see Mirembe. I was scared and feared to say anything," Kibuuka narrated.

According to Kibuuka, after sometime Ssebuyungo and Wamala had disagreements which prompted Wamala to report a case of murder to police.

He said it is Wamala who trained Ssebuyungo in witchcraft but could not tell how other bodies were buried in the same shrine.

He said he worked at the shrine for few months as a cleaner.

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