Rukungiri- On the morning of August 7, 2014, residents of Kempungu Village in Kanungu District awoke to shock when they found the body of Peace Tumuhairwe dumped in a paddock at a nearby trading centre. Tumuhairwe’s body was covered with deep wounds that indicated she had been lynched.
Mr Charles Kameraho, the village chairperson, contacted the police about the tragic news.
Police officers cordoned off the area with hope of finding exhibits that the assailants could have left behind.
Unfortunately, none of the exhibits were of significant help during the investigations.
The assailants had fled the scene without leaving any clues, making it difficult for detectives to track them.
In the meantime, Tumuhairwe’s body was taken to hospital for an autopsy and detective sergeant Frank Turamye assigned to investigate the case.
The following day, Turamye revisited the scene and also talked to residents seeking to find a lead to his investigations.
One of the people who came to his aide was Mr Martin Agume, the deceased’s son. Agume told Turamye that his mother received relentless calls hours before she died. Agume also said he last saw his mother on the evening of August 6 when she left home to meet a group of people at Kalisizo Trading Centre who wanted to talk to her.
Detective Turamye had got his first lead. He got the deceased’s contacts and proceeded to court to obtain an order that allowed him obtain a printout from the telecommunication company.
In the meantime, the police handed over the body to relatives after a post-mortem report confirmed everyone’s suspicion – that Tumuhairwe was murdered.
The deceased’s funeral attracted hundreds of mourners since it was one of the rare incidents in the sub-county. Mourners brought up all sorts of theories to what could have caused the killing of an innocent woman.
The phone printouts that detective Turamye eagerly waited for returned. After analysing the calls that the deceased received, one caller was unique.
The caller, using 0771228619, had made several calls to the deceased before her death.
The call data showed that the caller was within the area.
Detective Turamye was interested in talking to the caller to know what he or she talked to the deceased and whether they had ever met on the fateful day, where and at what time.
However, the mobile phone was switched off. A major lead had hit a dead end.
Fortunately, a second lead came. The widower told the police about a restaurant owner, Juliet Kengongi, who had heard two women talking about killing someone weeks before the death of his wife. The two women were at the restaurant in Rusheshe Trading Centre.
Desperate to solve the case, Turamye followed the new lead. Kengongi told the detective sergeant that at that time, she didn’t know the women’s identity or the one of the person they were talking about, but she got interested in what they were discussing since it had a criminal element.
She said the two women often referred to the woman they wanted dead as Peace.
According to Kengongi, one of the women claimed that Peace was a witch who had hatched a plan to kill her.
She said the woman emphasised that it was better to murder the ‘witch’ first before she kills her.
Kengongi also told the officer that the woman, who was listening, promised that she would get the woman a person to deal with the “witch”. This puzzled Kengongi.