Wife admits to hiring hitmen at Shs 2.5m to murder husband

Wife admits to hiring hitmen at Shs 2.5m to murder husband Dr Jino Abiriga
The late Masindi district health officer Dr Jino Abiriga

Masindi, Uganda | By Michael Wandati | Betty Cherotic, widow of the deceased Masindi District Health Officer, Dr. Jino Abiriga, has allegedly admitted to orchestrating a plot to hire assassins. Her confession during a week-long police custody suggests personal motivations, including jealousy and a perceived rivalry.

Cherotic reportedly disclosed that one of her reasons for hiring hitmen stemmed from ongoing ridicule by her late husband, who compared her unfavorably to Susan Atuhura, a woman he was allegedly dating. The intention initially was to target Susan Atuhura due to the perceived romantic involvement that led to comparisons.

“I first wanted to kill Susan Atuhura because she is the woman he was dating and compared her to me. We failed to kill the woman through arson and we also missed killing her at a place she frequented. We then turned the mission to my husband,” Cherotic is quoted by detectives.

Martin Kipsang, contracted for Shs 2.5 million to eliminate Atuhura, was subsequently assigned by Cherotic to enlist another individual, ultimately involving Joshua Namureng in the plan.

“Susan first left the door open for us to enter and kill her husband but our first attempt did not succeed as the man heard us walking outside. He woke up to tighten the door and windows and he noticed the door was opened and he firmly closed it,” Kipsang said.

However, on January 6, Cherotic allegedly facilitated their entry, and they attacked Abiriga while he was asleep, using a hoe handle.

“We cleaned the house and put his blood-soaked night suit in a bag. We dressed him (his body) in a red T-shirt and blue trousers. We carried the body on the stretcher and placed it outside in the neighbour’s compound,” Kipsang said. 

Detectives uncovered that Atuhura, identified as Abiriga’s alleged romantic partner, had survived two prior attempts on her life orchestrated by Cherotic. All three individuals—Cherotic, Kipsang, and Namureng—acknowledged their roles in the murder plot.

Cherotic accused Abiriga of causing the death of their first child and blamed him for a previous miscarriage of their twins. According to her account, the hired killers spent the night at Valentine’s Guesthouse before she permitted them entry to her residence to carry out the murder.

Also Read: Woman in Kampala stabs husband to death over sexual assault

Collaborating with the flying squad unit, the police apprehended Kipsang and Namureng in Bukwo district. The investigation led to the recovery of the victim’s blood-stained clothes discarded in a pit latrine at the guesthouse, along with a small bag containing the deceased’s ID.

“Cherotic accuses her husband of causing the death of their first child and the miscarriage of their twins. She has also told us that the killers spent the night at Valentines Guest house before she opened for them the house to kill her husband,” police spokesperson Fred Enanga said. 

Cherotic and Abiriga had a nine-month-old baby, having previously lost their first child, and also experiencing a twins miscarriage.