Sheikh Kamoga sentenced to life imprisonment

Sheikh Kamoga after being sentenced to life imprisonment. Photo by Abubaker Lubowa

The International Crimes Division of the High Court has sentenced the leader of Tabliq Sect in Uganda Sheikh Mohammad Yunus Kamoga to life in jail.

Life imprisonment means spending the rest of one’s natural life in jail.

Others to spend their natural life in jail are Sheikh Siraje Kawooya, Sheikh Murta Mudde Bukenya, and Sheikh Fahad Kalungi.

The same court that was presided over by a panel of three justices led by Ezekiel Muhanguzi, sentenced two others to 30 years in jail for the same offence.

The jurists justified the 30 years because they were mere followers and not leaders like Sheikh Kamoga and his colleagues aforementioned.

The two are Kakande Yusufu alias Abdallah and Sekayaja Abdulsalam alias Kassim Mulumba.

Justice Muhanguzi said the convicts have a right to appeal within 14 days.

Their lawyer Fred Muwema said he would appeal and called for calm.

While sentencing the four to life imprisonment, Justice Muhanguzi said terrorism is a very serious offence.

“It is a very serious offence. It has attained global attention. It has devastating impact on individuals, communities and in some cases the environment,” he said. “Hence, it’s very necessary to protect society from the perpetators of this offence.”

He said: “They [Kamoga and others] deserve such a sentence to keep them away from society and to deter others who would want to commit such an offence.”

Court on Monday found out that they committed the terrorism crimes by printing fliers with the names of those targeted to be killed inscribed on them and distributed in mosques, holding meetings in their homes from where they planned the killings, sending of WhatsApp messages with pictures of graves, coffins, bullets to their rival groups.

They were, however, found not guilty of murdering Sheikhs Mustafa Bahiga and Ibrahim Hassan Kirya and other Muslim leaders, about three years ago

Those acquitted of all counts are Amir Kinene, his brother Hakeem Kinene, Abdul Rashid Sematimba, Hamza Kasirye, Twaha Sekitto, Rashid Jingo, Musa Isa Mubiru and Yiga George William.