Four men accused of murder, aggravated robbery and attempted murder in relation to attacks on civilians in Bukonzo West in Kasese district have earned themselves 40 years in jail. They are Swalleh Muhindo, Hamza Salimboko, Moses Kamuhanda and Julius Bwambale
The suspects appeared on Wednesday in Kasese high court before David Batema, the Fort Portal Resident Judge. Batema found the accused guilty of murdering of Kisembo Muhindo and an attempt on the life his wife Monica Muhindo and robbing him of 18 million shillings.
He said prosecution had proved beyond reasonable doubt that the suspects were involved in the crime they were being accused.
The four are part of the twelve suspects who were picked up in connection to the Kasese attacks on civilians. The others are Kombi Kasyakulhu, Kambale Malikani, Pedson Saturday, Jacob Mugisha, Rabson Masereka, Sylvester Rujumba and Joshua Muhindo, a police constable.
However, Batema acquitted the seven suspects saying prosecution had failed to place them at the murder scene, where Julius Kisembo Bafera, a local businessman met his death.
Bafera was gunned down by unidentified gunmen on March 27, 2013. Batema also acquitted all the twelve accused persons of the charges of illegal possession of fire arms and ammunition saying prosecution failed to prove it before court.
Earlier on Ayebale Tumwebaze, the state prosecutor asked court to give the suspects a maximum sentence saying they had committed a serious offense despite being first offenders.
But the defense lawyer Moses Komunda asked for a lenient sentence saying that his clients are repentant for their crimes.
In his ruling, Justice Batema said he was giving the accused a long jail sentence so that by the time they come out of jail; they will have become too old to commit other crimes.
He said the suspects don’t deserve a short sentence because the gun they used to kill Kisembo has never been found. Batema sentenced the accused to 40 years in jail on the count of murder, another 40 year on the aggravated robbery and 18 years on attempted murder.
He however, ordered the suspects to serve the sentence concurrently. Lt. Col. Mawa Muhindo, the LC V chairperson Kasese district whose operation Fagiya Uchafu led to the arrest of the suspects hailed the ruling as a landmark.
He warned other criminal gangs in the district saying they would go after them. Monica Muhindo, the wife to Kisembo said at last justice has been served because those who took the life of her husband will spent the rest of their lives in jail.