A High Court judge has ordered Butabika Hospital to remind the justice minister to make a decision that would see the release of a mother who murdered all her four children in cold blood when she developed a mental illness.
On July 30, 2008, the nation was left in shock after it was reported in the media that Margaret Kasande alias Nalongo had poisoned and strangled her four young daughters from their two-roomed rented house in Kamyokya, a Kampala suburb.
Two of the children; five-year-old Marion Muhooza and three-year-old Martina Ainembabazi were pupils at Arena Nursery School in Kamwokya and the twins, who were called Medrine Nakato and Merisha Babirye, were two years old.
In a session presided over by Justice Yasin Nyanzi on Wednesday, he directed the Superintendent Butabika Hospital to write to the minister updating him on the mental status of Kasande so that he makes a final decision in her case.
“If the minister does not respond within three months from the date of this ruling, the file should be returned to me for an appropriate order,” said Justice Nyanzi.
Ms Kasande through her lawyer, Mr Ambrose Tiishekwa, filed an application seeking court’s intervention by ordering her release from Luzira prison where she is being held yet she has fully recovered from her mental illness.
In the application, Mr Tiishekwa argued that Ms Kasande should be released on ground that she has been off treatment for two-years now, so she is fit to live in any community without special attention. However, they are awaiting for the minister’s orders to discharge her in vain.
Mr Tiishekwa emphasized that the appellant’s earlier plea of guilty was quashed by Justice Andrew Bashaija the moment he scrutinized the doctor’s report which confirmed that Kasande was mentally unstable when she killed her children.
Her mental illness was backed by a letter dated March 10, 2010, from the then police psychiatrist, Dr Julius Muloni, who stated that Kasande had a mental illness called depression.
The doctor noted that it is likely that the unbecoming behavior that led her to murder of her daughters, could have been triggered by the mental illness.