Mbarara second division Court Martial has sentenced two civilians to 100 years in prison for the murder of a police officer and running away with his gun in Kabale District.
The duo; Mukwenda Mugisha, 19, aka young, a resident of Gatete village in Mukabaya parish, Kisoro District, and Paul Dusingizimana, 27, aka never give up, a resident of Kijuguta ward in Kabale Municipality received their sentence on Thursday.
Prosecution led by Lt James Omondi submitted that on January 24, Mugisha and Dusingizimana attacked and killed Gracious Byaryabakabu who was on duty guarding Kabale District Electoral Commission Offices at Makanga Hill, in Kabale Municipality and took off with his firearm that had 30 rounds of ammunition.
“The accused also robbed Godfrey Tukamubona of his phone amounting to Shs500,000 and Shs60,000 in cash after causing grievous harm on him,” he said.
Court also heard that on January 29, while at Rutenga cell in Kabale Municipality, the duo put Patrick Arinaitwe on gunpoint, kidnapped and robbed his Shs20,000 plus a phone that had Shs314000 on mobile money.
Prosecution also submitted that on January 24, the two robbed Ms Racheal Kyomugisha of her Techno pop 2 phone, Shs100,000 and a laptop worth Shs1.7 million using an AK 47-gun registration number UG Pol 56 58 24 456.
The accused pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated robbery, murder, and kidnap.
They, however, asked the court to give them a lenient sentence claiming that they were drunk by the time they committed the offences.
“We grew up on the streets after our parents had separated and we could not get any foster parents. The situation forced us to start taking alcohol and Marijuana. We, therefore, ask the court for mercy since we did not commit offences intentionally,’’ said Dusingizimana.
Lt Omondi told the court the convicts needed a deterrent sentence to deter the would-be offenders.
“Murder and robbery are rampant in the jurisdiction of this court, I, therefore, pray for a severe sentence to serve as a strong message to the would-be offenders. Of late, there is total disrespect and disregard of lives and services of police by civilians in the category of the convicts before the court that they have begun killing them. Killing security personnel who willingly join forces is something that majority of people shy away from. Losing such security personnel is a big blow to the security fraternity since the government invests a lot in training them,” he said.
Court presided over by the Second Division Court Martial chairman Lt Col Emmanuel Mwesigwa agreed with the prosecution and sentenced the two to 100 years in prison.
“…this court has also put into consideration provisions of article 23, 8 of the constitution to sentencing guidelines. This court, therefore, sentences the two convicts as follows;100 years imprisonment for murder, 70 years for aggravated robbery, 30 years for kidnap all to be served concurrently from the civil prisons and any aggrieved party has a right to appeal within 14 days,’’ he ruled.