The UPDF Mountain Division Court Martial sitting at Muhoti barracks in Fort Portal has sentenced a soldier to 90 years imprisonment for shooting dead two civilians.
Private Lotukei Paul attached to Bukara army detach, 06 Mountain Battalion 222 Mountain Brigade was last month arrested for shooting dead a 26-year-old woman and her children at Valley II bar and lodge in Kyakasinga trading centre, Nyaumba town council.
According to the prosecution, on October,30, at about 8 pm,Lotukei intentionally shot and killed Pamela Nayebale and her nine-month child identified as Owen Kusemererwa after an argument over a mobile phone in a bar at Kitumba Village, Nyakigumba Town council in Bunyangabu District.
The soldier was charged with two counts of murder contrary to sections 188 and 189 of the Penal Code Act.
While passing the sentence, the army division court chairman, Lt Col Felix Nyero said the 90 years were meant to serve as a lesson to other officers who would want to be engaged in such criminal acts to backtrack on their moves.
“Basing on the gravity of the offence committed and the evidence produced by prosecution, the sentence is appropriate and this should serve as a lesson to others. UPDF is a people’s army that has zero tolerance to criminality,”Nyero said in his sentence.
Prosecution guided by the Mountain Division legal officer and judge advocate Captain Ivan Nabireeba had earlier produced incriminating evidence to prove the accused acted with malice while shooting dead the two innocent civilians.
The defence lawyer, Lieutenant George W Kabanda requested court for a lenient sentence for his client since he is a first-time offender and has a big family of 5 wives and 18 children.
He said that Private Lotukei didn’t intend to kill the deceased but he was simply provoked since he was under the influence of alcohol and was therefore not in his full senses.
The court chairman however dismissed the same, saying the punishment ought ot serve as a big lesson to many other soldiers to behave well.
He however asked the soldier to appeal against the sentence in 14 days in case he is not satisfied.
This is the second UPDF soldier in a period less than two months to be sentenced to 90 years imprisonment over murder.
In September, the UPDF general headquarters Division Court Martial (DCM) that sat at the Marine Brigade Headquarters in Buliisa district sentenced Pte Cephas Rubagumya after being convicted of shooting and killing his commander, Lance Corporal Bernard Businge.
According to brief facts, on May, 27, 2020, Rubagumya left Mulima detach and went to Hoima town to withdraw his salary and on returning at around 8:40 pm he started quarreling with his commander.
He later got his gun from the house and ordered Lance Corporal Businge to sit down but despite pleas by Businge fell on deaf ears and was later shot dead.
Eyewitnesses told court that the commander was shot 10 times by the convict.
In July, the UPDF Mountain Division Court sitting in Kasese has sentenced Pte. Abraham Lokwap, a UPDF soldier who shot dead a lay reader last week to 35 years of imprisonment.
The UPDF has always been strict on discipline among its officers and many have either been jailed or received heavy punishments over misconduct from the army court set up under the UPDF Act of 2005.