Friday May 9 2014

Soldier jailed for 15 years

By Cissy Makumbi

A UPDF soldier, Alfred Drani, 42, who shot dead civilian Robert Bongonyinge, in February, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Pte Drani attached to Alpha Detach in Lakwana Sub-county in Gulu District, pleaded guilty to murder charges, during a public Court Martial hearing held at Opit Primary School on Tuesday.
The two-day session attracted hundreds of locals who came to witness the final verdict.

In his ruling, the chairperson of the Fourth Division Court Martial, Col Olanya Ojara, said Pte Drani had been sentenced to 15 years to be served at Gulu Central Prison.

Prosecution lead by Lt Francis Owiny, told court that Pte Drani, shot one person dead and injured four others at a drinking joint in Opit Trading Centre in February.

Prosecution said Pte Drani shot Bongonyinge three times in the head, neck and thigh with an SMG riffle, killing him instantly.
Fourth Division spokesperson Lt Wilson Agaba said the UPDF does not condone indiscipline.

“In case there was a conflict between the deceased and the convict, [Pte Drani], he should have sought redress from the commander at his unit,” he said.

“The public trial is for locals to see justice prevailing and the sentence is to deter army officers from using their rifles to finish the lives of others,” he added.

The mother of the deceased, Ms Rose Ayugi,63, however, protested the 15-year jail term, arguing that the convict needed life imprisonment.

“I am going to take care of the deceased’s five children yet I am just a peasant farmer and a widow who cannot meet their needs and demands,” she said.