Betty Cherotic, the widow of the late Masindi District Health Officer Dr. Jino Abiriga, has reportedly confessed to hiring killers due to personal reasons, including jealousy and a sense of rivalry. Cherotic, who has been in police custody for a week, reportedly revealed that one of the motives behind hiring hitmen was the constant ridicule she faced from her husband for not being as sexually knowledgeable as another woman.
Cherotic initially intended to target Susan Atuhura, a woman Abiriga was reportedly dating and comparing to her. “I first wanted to kill Susan Atuhura because she is the woman he was dating and compared her to me. We failed to kill the woman through arson and we also missed killing her at a place she frequented. We then turned the mission to my husband,” Cherotic is quoted by detectives.
Martin Kipsang, contracted for 2.5 million Shillings to kill Atuhura, was then tasked by Cherotic to find another person, leading to the involvement of Joshua Namureng. “Susan first left the door open for us to enter and kill her husband but our first attempt did not succeed as the man heard us walking outside. He woke up to tighten the door and windows and he noticed the door was opened and he firmly closed it,” Kipsang said.
However, on January 6, Cherotic allegedly facilitated their entry, and they attacked Abiriga while he was asleep, using a hoe handle. “We cleaned the house and put his blood-soaked night suit in a bag. We dressed him (his body) in a red T-shirt and blue trousers. We carried the body on the stretcher and placed it outside in the neighbor’s compound,” Kipsang said.
Detectives discovered that Atuhura, identified as Dr. Abiriga’s side lover, had survived two previous attempts on her life orchestrated by Cherotic. All three, Cherotic, Kipsang, and Namureng, admitted their involvement in the murder. Cherotic accused Dr. Abiriga of causing the death of their first child and blamed him for a previous miscarriage of twins. She claimed the killers spent the night at a guesthouse before she allowed them into her house to carry out the murder.
The police, in collaboration with the Flying Squad Unit, arrested Kipsang and Namureng in Bukwo district. The investigation has led to the recovery of the victim’s blood-stained clothes, dumped in a pit latrine at the guesthouse, along with the small bag containing the deceased’s ID. “Cherotic accuses her husband of causing the death of their first child and the miscarriage of their twins. She has also told us that the killers spent the night at Valentines Guest house before she opened for them the house to kill her husband,” police spokesperson Fred Enanga said.
Cherotic and Dr. Abiriga had a nine-month-old baby, having previously lost their first child, and the woman had experienced a miscarriage with twins.