Crime & Investigation

Tonku to Challenge Death Sentence Today

Tonku being led to Luzira by prison staff in 2010

Friends, sildenafil relatives and members of the general public will Tuesday gather at Christ the King Church in Kampala to pay their last respects to departed former NTV news anchor and celebrity, Rosemary Nankabirwa.

The deceased’s body was flown to Uganda on Monday evening before being taken to Mulago Referral Hospital.

Nankabirwa, whose work ethic, professionalism, extraordinary sense of fashion and fluency touched the lives of many a Ugandan, passed away on Sunday Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi Kenya.

This was just a day after hundreds of big-hearted Ugandans launched a massive fundraising campaign for her specialised treatment in Nairobi.

In her late 30s, Nankabirwa was diagnosed with a fatal cancer known as Adrenal Cortical Carcinoma.

This type of cancer is most common in children younger than 5 and adults in their 30s and 40s.

Adrenocortical carcinoma may be linked to a cancer syndrome that is passed down through families (inherited). Both men and women can develop this tumor.

It can produce the hormones cortisol, aldosterone, estrogen, or testosterone, as well as other hormones. In women the tumor often releases these hormones, which can lead to male characteristics.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the cause of the cancer is unknown. About 2 people per million develop this type of tumor leading to fatty, rounded hump high on the back just below the neck (buffalo hump); flushed rounded face with pudgy cheeks (moon face); obesity; and stunted growth in height (short stature).

Nankabirwa will be laid to rest in Masaka on Wednesday
The Court of Appeal starts today the hearing of an appeal challenging a death penalty handed down to Tom Nkulungira alias Tonku for murdering Brenda Karamuzi, more about 27 in 2010.

At 9:30am today Tuesday, help Tonku will ask court to set aside the death sentence handed to him almost four years ago.

The case is among 69 other criminal appeals set to be heard by Justices Augustus Nshimye, Eldad Mwangusya and Kenneth Kakuru.

Tonku was found guilty for murder contrary to sections 188 and 189 of the Penal Code Act.

Court heard that between January 21, 2010 and January, 30, 2010 at Kijjwa Zone, Bukasa, Makindye Division, in Kampala District, Tonku murdered Karamuzi before promising his shambo boy Fred Ssempijja Shs 1m to assist him in hiding the body of Brenda in a septic tank.

It was revealed in court that Karamuzi went to stay with Tonku on January 18, 2010. Two days later she went and stayed with her mother Joy Karamuzi in Ndejje, Namasuba.

She left early morning of January 21 to go and prepare for a job interview, and spent the day with her friend Carol Nibarungi at the latter’s office at Workers House.

The two friends parted company at 5.00pm, when Brenda informed her friend that she was going to spend the night at the home of Tonku, for the reasons that he would drop her at the place of interview early enough, and in any case, he was the one who sourced the place for her.

That was the last time Carol Nibarungi saw Brenda alive.

On January 25 it was noticed that Brenda was missing, and Carol Nibarungi and Amellia Amanda Karamuzi, Brenda’s sister, rang Tonku to inquire where she was, and he told them both that he did not see her on January 21 and 22.

They had arranged to meet at Kabalagala on Saturday January 23 in the evening, but that when he rang her two numbers that evening, they were off. He advised the two to look for Brenda in hospitals or the morgue.

The body of Karamuzi was later discovered in septic tank at the home of Tonku on 30th January 2010. Tonku was charged with the murder of Brenda Karamuzi. His shamba boy was also charged with the offence, and both denied the charges as indicated earlier.

The prosecution adduced the evidence of 17 witnesses in the attempt to prove the indictment.

Court observed wounds on the body. Dr. Sam Kalungi, the Pathologist observed what he described as multiple injuries on the head, the skull was crushed and all brain matter splattered out. There were 6 deep cut wounds on the head, neck and face.

Brutal Murder

The cause of death was brain trauma from blunt instrument.

Dr Kalungi’s opinion was that those external injuries were sufficient to cause death, meaning that death occurred before the body was dumped into the septic tank.

The judge in his ruling concurred with prosecution that the evidence “left no doubt whatever that the person who inflicted these injuries intended that death does occur. That is the only inference which can be deduced from the nature and extent of the injuries inflicted on the deceased.”

Justice Albert Rugadya Atwooki also found that the “prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt that the death of Brenda Karamuzi was caused with malice aforethought.

Tonku was convicted of murder while Ssempijja an accessory to the murder.

“The offence was committed in respect of a girl 27 years old who went to visit Tonku and she believed was a friend and was to help her find a job opportunity. All was in vain as her life was extinguished in a very brutal manner. She was battered to death with such brutality, one is dismayed that a human being is capable of committing that kind of brutal offence on another,” ruled Atwooki.

“This was more over one who was alleged to be or have been a girlfriend. Whatever the case that was totally unjustified. Court condemns that on the strongest terms and must send out a clear message that crime does not pay. Life is sacred and must be respected. We do not bring ourselves in this world and should only go out by God’s will, not that brute force of man.”


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