Uganda: Court Martial Convicts Six for Murder, Robbery

10 December 2019

The General Court Martial has convicted six men who were found guilty of killing two people and robbing Shs435 million from Muto Hardware in Masaka District in July last year.

The convicts are retired Corporal Paul Kiwanuka, Steven Kayemba, John Bosco Waliggo Julius Tweheyo alias Rutwiigi, Gerevazio Kankanka and Tumwesigye Mudathiru.

They were found guilty by a seven member panel of the General Court martial chaired by Lt. General Andrew Gutti.

Prosecution presented 13 witnesses who pined the convicts for murdering Shafik Kiggundu, a casual labourer and Moses Musinguzi, a security guard who was on duty at the hardware shop on July 1, 2018.

Court heard that the convicts used a firearm to kill the two people before robbing money.

In its judgment, the military court relied on evidence from the employees of Muto Hardware including Ms Halima Namata, a cashier; Mr Moses Kalisa aka Muto, the proprietor of the hardware business and detectives including Mr Godfrey Mwanje from Masaka Police Station and Mr Enock Kinene, who reviewed the CCTV footage from the crime scene.

In his testimony, Mr Kalisa told court that on the fateful day, he closed the hardware shop at about 7:30 pm to balance his books of accounts.

He said that moments later, two armed men who were speaking Swahili stormed the shop and ordered him to surrender money to them.

According to Mr Kalisa, another armed man he identified as retired Corporal Kiwanuka entered the hardware shop in the company of four other men while others stayed outside.

They later shot dead two people.

In her testimony, Ms Namata told court that on the fateful day, while on duty, she heard gunshots outside the shop.

She told court that her father [Mr Kalisa] instructed her to take cover on seeing armed robbers storming the hardware.

According to Ms Namata, when the robbers entered the shop, she handed them all the money that had been collected on the fateful day and the previous day.

Prior to the arrest of the convicts, their co-accused Imran Wakubbe, Jumba Derrick and Matia Kiiza were arraigned before the same court.

They initially pleaded not guilty to the charges of murder and aggregated robbery but later changed their plea and confessed to the robbery charges.

They were subsequently sentenced to 40 years in jail in October 2018 and in March 2019, respectively.

Wakubbe returned to court as a prosecution witness and revealed to court that all suspects participated in the crime except a one Mudathiru Tumwesigye.

He explained that Tumwesigye was only hired to transport the criminal gang to the hardware shop and had no idea about their mission.

The convicts have been remanded to Luzira Prison until December, 16, 2019 when they will return to court for sentencing.

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