“When I appeared before the High Court Judge, the room was full and I was very firm because the lawyer had given me confidence that I was not to going to hang. He told me that he was going to fight so that I would be charged with manslaughter and given a lighter sentence. But he warned me that prosecution had lined up many witnesses to prove that I murdered my husband.
“I looked at the people in court. Almost everybody I knew was there. I saw my mother-in-law shedding tears in one corner. My real mother could not stand it; she moved out. I remained firm until when I saw my children, Tom and Ann, seated between my mulamu, Ruth and Jane, the woman who was with my husband in the bathroom that tragic day.
“Tom and Ann had tears running down their faces. It looked obvious that they were just forced to sit there.
“I had never been so angry in my life like that moment. I could stomach torturing me, but not my kids in front of me. I wanted to jump out of the dock and confront them but I saw it was silly.
“I called my lawyer who was busy talking to the Judge; he signaled for me to keep quiet but I could not. I started crying loud.
“He excused himself and came near me but I talked loud such that the Judge would also hear. ‘Omukazi eyali ne bazze mukinabiro wuuli Ali nabaana bange abatulugunya. Mulamuzi mbadde nsaba abaana bange babafulumye baleme kulaba nga bansalira ogwo kufa tebalina musango bambi. Nsaba bamsonyiwe’.
“The court got confused. The Judge accepted my request and adjourned for some ten minutes before the court resumed. My kids and that woman were out. The lawyer requested me to be firm now that the kids were out. He told me that the Judge was touched.
“When the court resumed the first witness was my mulamu, Ruth. She said a lot of things that made me shed tears again: that I was always violent; that I tried on many occasions to kill my husband.
“But in her submission she said something even before the lawyer asked her. She said; ‘I was so annoyed with that woman that I poured hot water on her that is the scar on her arm’.
“The Judge asked her three times whether she did it. She also answered three times confirming it.
“That was her last laugh; the Judge ordered her arrest.”
At this point Kakumbi started smiling while narrating her story.
“She said while laughing; ‘Munange okukakana nga Mulamu wange bamusibye emyaka esatu’. (Ruth was imprisoned for three years.)
“Hajji, when Ruth was arrested, the rest of the witnesses never appeared in court. I suppose they feared to be arrested, too. They said that my dad had bribed the Judge to arrest all the witnesses.
“I was charged with manslaughter and sentenced to eight years. I have now finished six years, remaining with two.”
I asked about her kids.
“My kids are doing well Tom is S. 3 and Ann in P.7. In fact you came when they had just gone. They are always here to visit me.
“Nkusese Abaasi? it’s my mulamu, Ruth, who brings them here, we developed much love when we were both here in prison. She is now my best friend.“There is an organization here in prison that rehabilitates us. We are happy; my kids forgot all that that happened. They love me very much.
“I have also finished S. 6. When I come out of this place I will join university. Now, I do computer study here.”
I was so happy for Kakumbi.