Friday February 7 2014

Kalungi sentenced to 4 years in jail for Nebanda’s death



Adam Suleiman Kalungi will spend the next four years in Luzira prison for negligently causing the death of former Butaleja District Woman MP Cerinah Nebanda.

Kalungi was convicted last week but the sentencing was deferred to yesterday.

The Makindye Chief Magistrate Esta Nambayo noted that Kalungi was not remorseful about Nebanda’s death during the trial.

But on the other hand, the magistrate agreed with the mitigating submissions by Kalungi’s lawyer Nsubuga Mubiru that the late Nebanda contributed the bigger culpability to her death.

The magistrate explained that medical evidence showed that Nebanda died of multiple organ failure due to consumption of drugs and alcohol and that Kalungi was not held responsible for administering them to her.

The maximum penalty of manslaughter charge is life imprisonment but under the new sentencing guidelines, the sentence of manslaughter ranges from three years up to life imprisonment.

Magistrate Nambayo added: “It’s my opinion that Adam Kalungi owed an explanation to the people of Butaleja and the entire nation for the circumstances under which the Hon Cerinah Nebanda died. Lack of Kalungi’s presence to explain, caused a lot of pain and suffering emotionally, socially and economically to many people.”

“Very expensive investigations had to be done; a lot of time has been spent on this case working out the puzzle of what caused Hon Nebanda’s death. All this time Mr Kalungi was in court also waiting for the finding.”

She added: “I wish to emphasise that the purpose of sentencing is to promote a sense of responsibility by the offender, acknowledging the harm done to the victim and the community. He needs time to develop a character of responsibility. He should be able to own up even when things have gone wrong,” the magistrate further ruled.

Last week on Friday, the same court found Kalungi guilty of the charge of manslaughter for delaying to take Nebanda to hospital for fear that journalists would see the MP and it would cause her embarrassment.

He found Nebanda in a bad condition at his home on December 14, 2012. The same court also sentenced Ali Omar Alimuzahim to one year in jail for unlawful possession of narcotic drugs. The maximum sentence for this offence is five years in jail.

The magistrate also ordered that the narcotics found with Omar, be handed over to the police Anti-Narcotics squad for proper disposal.

The magistrate reminded the convicts that they could appeal within 14 days if they were not satisfied with her ruling.

Kalungi’s lawyer Mr Mubiru said he would appeal.

The lawyer explained that Kalungi is a lay man who could not know that a mere delay of about one hour to take the late MP to hospital could cause her death.