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UPDF soldier sentenced to 30 years in jail for murder

Chairman of General Court Martial, Gen. Andrew Gutti. (FILE PHOTO)

BUNDIBUGYO – The army court-martial sitting in Bundibugyo district has sentenced a  soldier to 30 years in prison after he was found guilty of murdering a student.

The court chaired by Col. Geoffrey Mujuni on Wednesday ruled that L/CPL Sam Tumwebaze, 35, the commander in charge of Kirumya UPDF detach, murdered Bwambale Tibenda, 19, a senior four student and a resident of Kyapa trading center in Kirumya sub county, contrary to section 188 and 189 of the Penal Code Act cap 120 of the UPDF Act.

Court ruled that the offence is of capital nature but since the convict was a first time offender and also has health challenges, he has been sentenced to serve 30 years in prison from the day of arrest but has a right to appeal within 14 days from the date of judgment.

Court found that October 31, 2018 at around 5 am, the convict while at Kirumya detach as the commander decided to go armed at a disco that was organized by Mr. Musabuli Asumani at Kyapa trading center, Bugharama village, Bundibuturo parish in Kirumya sub county,

Bundibugyo district and killed a civilian Bwambale Tibenda by shooting using a fire arm AK47 riffle.

Court also found that the shooting was as a result of misunderstandings between soldiers from Kikyo UPDF detach in Ngamba Sub County and their fellows from Kirumya UPDF detach whereby L/CPL Tumwebaze confronted and disarmed his comrades from Kikyo UPDF detach accusing them of securing the musical disco outside their area of operation which prompted him to fire random bullets that one of them strayed and killed Bwambale Tibenda.

However, Tumwebaze’s lawyer Maj.John Bamwiterebye successfully asked court to give his client a lenient sentence because of his poor health condition and other family challenges.

“My lord your humble convict is a baby in crime, he is very young youth, a sole bread winner of his family, he is an orphan since his father passed on, my lord I therefore pray that my client be given a lenient treatment due to the nature of the offence,” Bamwiterebye said before court sentenced his client to 30 years in jail.

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