As wind up 2022, several messages of ‘Happy New Year’ awash social media platforms.
To a teenage Evelyn Namasopo before welcoming the new year, thanking God for the miraculous 2022 is ever on her minds. It’s the year she grabbed Justice from the “Jaws of Hungry Lions”
The physically impaired 16 year old witnessed the Conviction and Sentencing of her tormentor Derick Kuloba by Bubulo Chief Magistrate Esther Nalungi.
In July 2019, Namasopo lost her Right hand, after Kuloba chopped it off, in an attempt to kill her, after denying her sex.
Despite of incurrence of all forms of moneys, power and influence, Kuloba who had been “favoured,” found himself behind bars on June 21.
The gruesome incident has never went off the teenager’s minds.
“He intercepted me, and tried to force me to have sex with him. When I refused, he started cutting me while ordering me to put off my clothes and when he realized that I had completely refused, he lifted the Panga and tried to cut my head, which I guarded with my hand leading to its loss,” emotionally tearful Namasopo told Journalists earlier this year in quest to find Justice.
How Justice was Delayed
After this gruesome incident, Kuloba took off leaving Namasopo helpless
“If it wasn’t a friend who called us and we rushed her to Bududa Hospital, and later referred to Mbale Regional referral for better management, it would have been a different story today,” Justine Khainza, Namasopo’s mother said during a presser this year.
“When the case was reported to Bududa Central Police Station, to our dismay a defilement case reference CRB 361/2020 instead of attempted murder was opened and a suspect (Derick Kuloba) were arrested but later release released on a police bond,” she added
Khainza said that she later filed a Complaint to Mbale Regional Police, which led to the summoning of the file from Bududa CPS, “and a new case of Attempted Murder was opened on Reference CRB 344/2020. Kuloba was re-arrested and produced in Mbale High Court on December 17, 2020 where he was once again released on a Court Bail,”
This repeated extension of Bail angered Khainza who sought help from the Human Rights Activist.
Kuloba received a Sentence of 15 years in prison and as well fined Shs50m.
“Considering that the convict has spent 4 months on remand I here by send him to spend 14 years and 8 months in prison,” she said
“The prosecution had requested this honorable Court to give the victim Shs100m considering they used Shs24M for treatment and the victim still needs another Shs100m for her treatment but considering that the plaintif is unemployed and husband of a pregnant woman I suggest that the victim be given Shs50M compensation,” she said.
Justice Nalunji advised the plaintiff to file a Civil Suit incase they feel that they are not contented with the compensation and the convict files a Suit to the Court of Appeal.
Speaking to reporters, Godfrey Wakasadha, the State Prosecutor said that they are contented with the Court Judgement.
“We requested for 15 years in prison which the Court has awarded, and Shs100m but it gave us Shs50M but if they appeal, they will give us more money,” he said
Mariam Mwizza a Human rights activist who had followed this case since 2020 said that she is ok with the punishment.
“Considering how this case had been mishandled by Police from the start it was a tag of war to register it as an attempted murder. We are happy with the judgement,” she said
Like Justice Nalunji, Mwizza said that what happened to Kuloba will act as an example to the rest of greedy, horny, ruthless violent men in the region who have repeatedly disrespected women’s rights.
Mwiza had spent one year following up this case, travelling to Mbale several times, including petitioning the State House Anti-Corruption Unit (SHACU) which she says played a significant role in arresting Kuloba who had been shielded by a section of Authorities in Elgon Region.
Kuloba later appealed to the High Court in Mbale, which also upheld the same sentence.
Reports indicates that he is planning to lodge an appeal in the Court of Appeal this January.
Namasopo’s dreamis to become a Medical Doctor so that she saves Lives, following the inspiration she got from the Doctors who worked tirelessly to reboot her life.