After 14 years in prison, Lydia Draru, the woman who killed former Army Commander Maj.Gen. James Kazini has been released.
Draru is reported to have been secretly released months back and is going about her business somewhere in Kampala, a development that was confirmed by Uganda Prisons Services spokesperson Frank Baine.
“Yes it is true, she is out. She served her sentence” Baine is quoted to have said.
Draru was convicted by the High Court for manslaughter and sentenced her to 14 years in prison after she confessed to killing Gen.Kazini.
During sentencing, Justice Monica Mugenyi acquitted Draru of the charge of murder, and instead found her guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter.
Death of Gen Kazini
Maj. Gen. James Kazini was found dead in Draru’s rental house in Wabigalo Namuwongo, a Kampala suburb found in Makindye Division.
Prosecution told court that Draru hit Kazini with an iron bar on the head and killed him on November 10, 2009.
Draru was Kazini’s side-dish and it is said that their rendezvous would take place at her home.
Kazini was married to Phoebe Kazini (widow). Draru came out and confessed to the killing, but the public remained suspicious that she was not the principal killer.
Although the police announced that they were investigating the killing, they did not produce any evidence from their own investigations during the trial to corroborate Draru’s confession. Draru was convicted to 14 years in prison solely on her own plea of guilt.
In her confession, Draru said she hit Kazini on the head with a metal pipe which killed him instantly. She argued that she hit him in self-defense because he was trying to attack her. She was charged with manslaughter and ultimately convicted.
After killing Kazini inside her sitting room, Draru ran out shouting. Her yelling attracted the area residents to her house where they found Kazini’s body lying in a pool of blood. Subsequently, Draru and her sister who was a juvenile were arrested by police for interrogation.
Pictures of Kazin’s body showed a narrow and deep penetrating cut on the head, suggesting it had been inflicted by a sharp object rather than a hollow pipe Draru had claimed.
This sparked doubt whether Draru’s confession was genuine or a decoy. Kazini was wearing civilian clothes at the time of death. His white Toyota Land Cruiser with South Sudanese registration number plates was found parked outside Draru’s house with his pistol inside.