Doctors differ over death of person at centre of case

Wednesday January 29 2020

The five Burundians and the Kenyan are expected

The five Burundians and the Kenyan are expected in court next month.  

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Contradictions have emerged over an autopsy report that was used to condemn a retired army captain, Drake Mugisha, to life imprisonment for the murder of his wife, Pastor Maggie Mutesi.

The report was brought into question after Mr Mugisha appealed his sentence, claiming that the person who conducted the autopsy, Lynette Kyokunda at King Faisal Hospital in Kigali was not a qualified forensic pathologist.

Last week, in a court hearing, three doctors who were tasked by the Ministry of Health to examine the autopsy report declared it “accurate,” opposing the views of the defendant’s private forensic pathologist Dr Sylvester Onzivua.

“The autopsy report is accurate, following the recorded steps that Dr Lynette Kyokunda had followed when examining the body of the deceased,” the three doctors told the court.

In October 2018, Mr Mugisha’s lawyers appealed the life imprisonment, presenting a report prepared by Dr Onzivua, a doctor at Mulago Hospital in Uganda, which termed the earlier on ras “erroneous.”

“Dr Kyokunda attributed the death to many causes including head injury, heart failure and then strangulation. Certainly, these three could not all have caused the death of the deceased,” reads the a report by Dr Onzivua, a consultant and forensic pathology.


But the three doctors who are anatomical pathologists at Kigali University Teaching Hospital, Rwanda Military Hospital and Kakyiru Hospital in Kigali said that it does not necessarily need a forensic pathologist to carry out an autopsy examination.

The next hearing on February 14 is expected to contain cross-examination to the doctors on their conclusion of the fallibility of the autopsy report.