The family of former army commander Maj. Gen. James Kazini has said the 14-year prison sentence handed to Lydia Draru for killing him won’t bring back their beloved one.
Speaking hours after the jail sentence, family members of the late Kazini welcomed justice but said Kazini could not be brought back to life.
“A loss always remains a loss, though justice has been done, you cannot bring him back,” said Mr Azaria Kashaija, a cousin of the late Maj. Gen. Kazini.
Ms Phoebe Kazini, the widow of the deceased who did not attend court proceedings, declined to comment on the verdict imposed on her late husband’s mistress. She said her remarks ended when she buried her husband in 2009.
Kampala High Court convicted Draru of manslaughter, a lighter offence of causing death unintentionally after she confessed before the police and the trial court. Justice Monica Mugenyi, however, acquitted her of murder charges saying the state failed to adduce evidence against the convict.
“I depart from the unanimous opinion of the court assessors and I find that the ingredient of malice aforethought has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt by prosecution,” held Justice Mugenyi.
Draru asked for forgiveness from the deceased’s family saying she did not intend to kill him.
Prosecution told court that on November 10, 2009, Gen. Kazini was found dead at Ms Draru’s home after she hit him on the head repeatedly with an iron bar.
Court heard that on November 10, 2009, Gen. Kazini was found dead in her house in Wabigalo-Namuwongo, a Kampala suburb. Draru pleaded guilty to killing the deceased in self-defence and denied murder, a heavy offence which attracts death as a maximum sentence on conviction.
“I agree, I killed him (Kazini) but I did not intend it,” Draru told court at plea-taking last week. However, a postmortem report carried out by Dr Thaddeus Barungi indicated that Gen. Kazini died of extensive skull and brain injuries as a result of trauma.
Justice Mugenyi agreed with Draru that her life was in danger after being threatened by the deceased who had promised to return with a gun to ‘finish’ her off hence she defended herself the way she did.
“Draru was very much aware that Gen. Kazini was armed. When he stood to leave saying that he was going to fetch his gun and kill her, she did not have the reason to doubt,” said the judge.
State Attorney Fred Kakooza could not divulge on issues of appealing in the case: “I will have to first consult.”