A 28-year-old woman has been sentenced to life imprisonment by the High Court in Jinja City, Uganda, after being found guilty of sacrificing her landlord’s 4-year-old daughter.
Isabella Trinity Nakisuyi’s decapitated body was discovered on September 30, 2021, in a sugarcane plantation in Kakira, while her head was found in Wanyange, both suburbs in Jinja District.
The victim, Isabella Trinity Nakisuyi, was the daughter of Annet Nakisasi and John Mulodi, both residents of Kakira Cell in Jinja District.
Following the murder, three individuals were arrested: Felista Namaganda, her boyfriend Pastor Joseph Sselubiri of Healing and Deliverance Church in Market Cell, Kakira Town Council in Jinja District, and Pastor Isma Buyinza Ssekabira, who also goes by the name Israel.
The trio faced two counts, including aggravated trafficking and murder. Pastor Sselubiri pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder and 30 years for child trafficking.
Namaganda and Pastor Ssekabira, on the other hand, chose to go to trial.
After weeks of trial, Pastor Sselubiri was acquitted, while Felista Namaganda was found guilty of aggravated trafficking and murder.
She was sentenced to 30 years for aggravated trafficking and life imprisonment for murder. Both sentences are to run concurrently.
In her ruling on Friday, Justice Winfred Nabisinde said, “I have taken into account the circumstances under which the deceased was trafficked from her home with the intention of sacrifice. I will imprison you for 30 years over aggravated trafficking and life imprisonment for murder, but you can appeal against the conviction and the sentence within 14 days.”
During the trial, Namaganda denied involvement in the child’s sacrifice and claimed that she was at her father’s shop on the day of the incident.
The state prosecutor, Pamela Orogot, sought the death penalty, while the defense lawyer, Robert Esarait, asked for a 20-year sentence, citing Namaganda’s role as a parent to a young child.
In her ruling, Justice Nabisinde emphasized the severity of the crime, stating, “The degree of murder was fatal. The deceased was an innocent little child, vulnerable, and unable to defend herself. You (Namaganda) abused the trust the child had in you.”