Authorities from Luzira prison have released former Boda Boda 2010 patron, Abdalla Kitatta and his police bodyguard, Sowali Ngobi, the Nile Post has learnt.
Uganda Prisons spokesperson, Frank Baine confirmed the development saying the development came after the army court of Appeal reduced the duo’s sentence from 10 to three years.
“His commitment warrant was revised to deem his sentence to have started on May 13,2019,”Baine said.
On Friday morning, Justice Elly Turyamubona ruled that it was wrong for the army court to give maximum sentences of 10 years to each of the convicts despite being first offenders.
“It is very clear that each of the accused was given a maximum sentence on each of the count despite the fact that the court had observed that the convicts were first offenders and there was no evidence that those firearms were involved in any crime in addition to other mitigating factors that were brought to the attention of court,” Justice Turyamubona ruled.
“… we find that the sentences imposed on the appellants were harsh and excessive and amount to miscarriage of justice.”
The court therefore ruled that the duo will now serve one year, eight months and six days on each of the counts and the sentences will run concurrently.
If the Court of Appeal judgment is to go by, it would mean that Kitatta would have spent one year and two months but according to the Uganda Prisons spokesperson, the prisons also counted his remission and released him.
“When we subjected his sentenced remission, then he was supposed to have gone on July 7, 2020,”Baine said.
Kitatta was last year found guilty of unlawful possession of an SMG rifle and a pistol without a valid firearm licence and unlawful possession of 30 and 20 rounds of ammunition for SMG rifles and pistol before he was sentenced together with his bodyguard to 10 years and six months’ imprisonment but the duo appealed against the sentence.
Whereas there is a misconception among members of the public that while in prison, day and night are each counted as a day, it is not true because 24 hours are counted for a day and 30 days for a month.
However, according to Prisons Act 2003, prison terms are shortened in what is known as remission.
Remission in this case refers to a subjective award given to a prisoner depending on his behavior and if they behave badly, the same can be withdrawn.
If a person was sentenced to three years, it means he will serve the first month in totality, then a third of two years and eleven months will be awarded to him in form of remission and the earliest they can come out of prison is after two years and one month.