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Soldier sentenced to 40 years in prison for murder

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Lance Corporal Peter Maliamungu before the court martial in Mbarara District on Wednesday. PHOTO BY RAJAB MUKOMBOZI 

By RAJAB MUKOMBOZI

Posted  Friday, May 23   2014 at  12:58

In Summary

Guilty. Army court finds Peter Maliamungu guilty of killing a wildlife official and robbing more than Shs2 million.

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Mbarara.
A court martial in Mbarara has sentenced a 33-year-old soldier to 40 years in prison after finding him guilty of murder and aggravated robbery.
The court sitting at Second Division headquarters in Makenke on Wednesday, heard that Peter Maliamungu raided Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park in Kanungu District on February 19, last year and killed a wildlife authority staff before carrying out robbery.

Prosecution told court that Maliamungu, armed with a rifle, shot dead Angel Kobusheshe, an accounts clerk, before stealing more than Shs2 million from the cashier, Ms Miria Kyokusiima.

Prosecution added that the suspect was arrested in Kanungu last April following investigations and intelligence by police and Uganda Wildlife Authority.

The division court martial chairperson, Col Godfrey Mujuni, said prosecution had adduced enough evidence through three witnesses brought to court that Maliamungu killed Kobusheshe and carried out the robbery.
The defence lawyer, Capt Paul Rwabwogo, asked for a lenient sentence for his client, arguing that court should consider the time he had spent on remand, having not committed any crime before, the time he had served in the army and being the sole bread winner for his family.

However, the lead prosecutor, Lt Alex Mukhwana, said: “The convict is a member of UPDF and a trained soldier who ought to have known that UPDF is here to protect civilians but not to kill and rob them.”
In his ruling, Col Mujuni said the offences committed were grave and, therefore, the convict will serve 30 years in prison for murder and other 10 for aggravated robbery.
He said the sentences would be served differently.

the reaction
While Uganda Wildlife Authority welcomed the ruling as fair, the relatives of the deceased said the soldier deserved a death sentence. “I cannot get back my son. He should have also been sentenced to death,” Mr Richard Karyeija, the deceased’s father, said.