On a chilly Thursday this week, the High Court sentenced Ruth Kamande to hang for killing her boyfriend Farid Mohammed in September 2015. The crime having all the hallmarks of a modern urban legend, what with digital age technology in the mix.
Justice Jessie Lesiit found that Ms Kamande drew pleasure from stabbing her boyfriend 25 times and was not remorseful, even in court.
Here is what Justice Jessie Lesiit said of Kamende:
I have considered the circumstances of the offence and find that the accused was manipulative and controlling. The only reasonable explanation why the accused attacked the deceased on the material day was over two disappointments. The facts of the case show that the accused was snooping into deceased phone in order to find out who he had been communicating with. To the extent of swapping her sim card with his to access his mail or in box when she realized that the deceased had changed his phone pin and password. When she was unable to access the information, she locked the deceased at home preventing him from going to work for some time.
The second disappointment was the love letters the accused discovered the deceased was keeping many years after he broke up with the former girlfriends. The discovery led to upbraiding of the deceased by the accused and finally to this attack.
The accused alleged that the deceased had sex with her knowing he was HIV positive. I rejected that explanation, not only was it raised at the defence stage, but also for being an afterthought.
If we are to ask why the deceased in this case died, was it over frustration to access his phone, was it for keeping old love letters of persons who had long moved on, or because the deceased walked away from the accused to go to work without her? The reasons for taking the action that led to the deceased death cannot be justified by any standards or instrument of measure.
The court also considered how the murder was executed. The accused did not stab the deceased in quick succession. She stabbed the deceased one stab at a time. It was as if she was sampling with pleasure each and every stab she inflicted on him. And those who witnessed the accused actions told the court that they were traumatized over the act for some time.
I considered the fact that the accused ignored pleas to let go the deceased by desisting to stab him any further. That she did not stop. Even though the police said that they inadvertently lost the pictures of the scene, the evidence of those who went there created a vivid picture of how it looked after the incident. They said that there was blood all over the deceased house.
Counsel for the accused has urged that the accused has while in custody over this case been religious, disciplined, talented and helpful in terms of leadership. She is said to have undergone many courses. These factors are relevant when considering sentence among other weighty factors.
Kamande, now 24, told the court that Farid tried to kill her after she discovered he was HIV-positive.
“Farid told me that he would rather kill me and himself than have his status exposed. l stabbed him severally using a kitchen knife, which fell on my chest from his hands after I overpowered him after putting my two thumbs in his eyes to save my life,” she said.
The judge observed that the sentence should serve as a lesson for young people involved in crimes of passion.
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“I want young people to know that it is not cool to kill your boyfriend when frustrated. Instead, it is cool to walk away and forgive. The only deserving sentence is death,” said Ms Lesiit.