22-year-old Kabale man gets 70 years in prison for murdering two girlfriends

22-year-old Kabale man gets 70 years in prison for murdering two girlfriends

Kabale, Uganda | By Michael Wandati | Denis Arinaitwe, a 22-year-old tailor, has been sentenced to 70 years in prison after admitting to the murder of his two girlfriends on the same day.

The tragic events unfolded when Arinaitwe first strangled Sarah Naturinda, a student at Kabale University, in her room in Rwamukundi village, Kabale Municipality. Later that day, he shot dead Police Constable Caroline Komuhangi around 9:00 am.

Appearing before Kabale High Court presided over by Justice Samuel Emokor, Arinaitwe pleaded guilty to two counts of murder. Komuhangi, formerly attached to the Field Force Unit (FFU) at Kabale Central Police Station, was fatally shot following domestic disputes with Arinaitwe. The conflict stemmed from allegations of infidelity with Naturinda and accusations of theft involving an Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) card.

On the day of the incident, a confrontation erupted between Arinaitwe and Komuhangi at the Police Barracks. In a desperate attempt to flee, Komuhangi was shot three times by Arinaitwe, who subsequently attempted to take his own life but only managed to injure himself in the face.

Arrested and hospitalized for his injuries, Arinaitwe was later brought to court on July 20, 2023, where he was charged and remanded to Ndorwa Government Prison.

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During the sentencing, Kabale Resident State Attorney Juliet Najunju urged the court to impose a severe penalty given the gravity of Arinaitwe’s offenses. Justice Emokor, while acknowledging Arinaitwe’s guilty plea as a mitigating factor, sentenced him to 35 years for each murder charge, to be served concurrently, resulting in a total sentence of 68 years and two months after deducting time spent on remand.

Following the verdict, Arinaitwe reacted angrily, threatening journalists who attempted to photograph him.

Elly Maate, police spokesperson for the Kigezi region, praised the judgment, emphasizing its message that criminal acts carry significant repercussions. He emphasized the importance of seeking peaceful resolutions to conflicts rather than resorting to violence.