The General Court Martial in Makindye has sentenced two men to forty years imprisonment for each count after pleading guilty of attacking Muto Hardware in Masaka town, killing two people and robbing huge sums of money.
On June 1 at Muto Hardware along Buddu street in the heart of Masaka town at around 8pm, unknown assailants stormed the place killing Moses Musinguzi, the security guard and another employee before robbing Shs 435 million.
Later, seven people including Rtd Cpl Paul Kiwanuka,54, a retired UPDF soldier ,Derrick Jumba,40,John Bosco Waliggo,43,Kizza Bukenya Matiya,Stephen Kayemba,Julius Tweheyo,30 and Gerevazio Kankaka 25 were arraigned before the army court and charged with two counts of murder and two for aggravated robbery.
On Monday, the military court sentenced Derrick Jumba and Matia Bukenya Kiiza to 40 years imprisonment after pleading guilty to the charges on their own plea.
The duo who had earlier denied the charges on Monday changed their plea to admit the charges of shooting dead Moses Musinguzi, robbing his AK47 which had 30 rounds of ammunition, shooting dead Sharif Kiggundu a casual labourer, working at the hardware and also robbing shs435 million.
They told court that Jumba was given shs15 million after completing the mission but his colleagues run away with the balance but Kiiza said he was given shs200 million as his share .
The army prosecutors led by Maj.Raphael Mugisha told court that the duo were not first offender after being convicted of other offences earlier asking court to give them a deterring punishment.
In response, their lawyer Siena Owomugisha asked court to hand them lenient sentences because they are first offenders and hadn’t wasted court’s time.
In his sentence, the General Court Martial chairman, Lt. Gen. Andrew Gutti said despite pleading guilty, the punishment was meant to be a lesson to deter others intending to commit similar crimes.
He said each of the offences carries a maximum punishment of death but had decided to reduce them to forty years.
“This court recognizes that the two convicts pleaded guilty and thus saved the court time, they are young men, have families and are remorseful but however this courts notes that two lives were lost due to actions of the duo and others,”Lt.Gen.Gutti said.
“The deceased as well had families to look after and their right to life was taken by actions of the convicts.”
The army court said that the owner of the hardware lost huge sums of money to the group yet such crimes are very rampant and there was need to curb such.
“This court finds sentence of 40 years and three months imprisonment as appropriate for each account for each convict,”Gutti said.
He noted that he had considered the time the duo had spent on remand.
Gutti said that the punishments are to run concurrently.