Govt to appeal Case Clinic staff murder verdict

Friday September 24 2021
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Left to right: Convicts Deogratious Yiga, Mawa Muzamiru, Resty Nalunga, and Huzairu Kiwalabye follow High Court proceedings at Entebbe Magistrate’s Court on September 15, 2021. PHOTO / PAUL ADUDE

By ANTHONY WESAKA

President Museveni has said his government will appeal against what he called a “lenient” sentence that was handed to four people for murdering a Case Clinic accountant.

Mr Museveni wondered why the killers of Francis Ekalungar were not handed a death sentence.
“These people conspired to kill the accountant. Now, one was given a life sentence, was the one they killed given a life sentence? Was death sentence abolished?” Mr Museveni asked on Wednesday during the swearing-in of six new judges at State House, Entebbe.

Ekalungar was killed on January 2, 2018 and his body burnt.

On September 16, the High Court sitting at Entebbe, handed Mawa Muzamiru, the ring-leader in the murder, a life imprisonment sentence. 

Mawa’s accomplices, including his wife Resty Nalunga, Yiga Deo, and Huzailu Kiwalabye received five, seven, and 25 years imprisonment respectively.

While sentencing the four, Justice Yasiin Nyanzi said the killers of Ekalungar did not deserve a maximum punishment of death since their case did not fall under the category of rarest of the rare.

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The Judiciary public relations officer, Mr Jamson Karemani, said he didn’t have conclusive details on the Case Clinic matter and that what he knows is that the file involves plea bargaining, which in most cases involves relatives, Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) and the judge comes in at the end of the process.

Bail
The President also re-echoed his dissatisfaction in the Judiciary for giving bail to suspects facing capital offences like murder.

He said the continued provocation by the Judiciary to release suspects on bail in capital offences, will force him to summon the NRM caucus to deliberate on this issue, fearing that the people might take the law into their hands over the same. 

“For somebody to kill a person and you give them bail is provocation. It is abominable. This bail, what is the hurry? Who are you trying to please? Who said bail is a right,” Mr Museveni scoffed at the Judiciary.

But Mr Karemani when contacted yesterday, said bail is dependent on the discretion of the court and is determined according to circumstances of each particular case.

The ceremony saw five new judges of the High Court and one Justice of the Court of Appeal take oath.
The new High Court judges include Tom Chemutai, Florence Nakacwa, Vincent Wagona, Alice Komuhangi, and Lawrence Tweyanze.

Mr Christopher Gashirabake took oath as a Justice of Court of Appeal though the other appointee, Justice Eva Luswata, did not appear to be introduced to the President since she has already taken oath.

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