Court sets Chris Mubiru free

Former Sports Club Villa manager Chris Mubiru walks out of court smiling after he was set free. Photo by Juliet Kigongo

KAMPALA. Court in Kampala on Tuesday over turned a decision by the magistrate’s court in which former Sports Club Villa manager Chris Mubiru was convicted of sodomy and sentenced to 10 year jail sentence.
Mubiru had been also ordered to pay Shs50m as compensation to the victim Emmanuel Nyanzi.

However, High Court judge Wilson Musene Masalu set Mubiru free after faulting the magistrate’s court of wrongly convicting him. Mubiru had been in Luzira Prision since September 2015.
“It was wrong for the victim not to report to police for having been sodomised in 2009 and only waited in 2013 after many years had already passed. He should have reported when it was still hot and not in 2013 to pastor Solomon Male,” the judge ruled.
The judge further noted that there should have been a medical report to help corroborate the evidence of the victim as required but without it, this meant that the case weak.

On the video evidence pinning Mubiru, the judge said it was just a waste of court’s time because none of the victims filmed in the video recordings had complained in court.
“I find that the trial magistrate failed to evaluate evidence and wrongfully convicted the appellant (Mubiru). I therefore set aside the sentence by the trial court and set him free,” Justice Musene said.
Mubiru through his lawyer Mr Ronald Serunjogi had told court in his appeal that the said victim only wanted to extort money from him.

But Senior State Attorney Ms Ann Kabajungu contended that it was common for a victim of sexual offence not to report the matter immediately because of the cultural norms.
Buganda Road Chief magistrate Flavia Nabakooza in September last year found Mubiru guilty of having carnal knowledge of his victim, Emmanuel Nyanzi, adding that prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.
Court heard that in December 2009, while at Mengo Kisingiri LCI, a Kampala suburb, Mubiru had sexual relations with Nyanzi and others against the order of nature, an offence contrary to section 145(a) of penal code act.