The General Court Martial in Makindye has sentenced two security men to four years in jail after they pleaded guilty to charges of illegal possession of a firearm and five rounds of ammunition. Banuli Lubanga, 34, a former prison warden at Kigo governm...
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The General Court Martial in Makindye has sentenced two security men to four years in jail after they pleaded guilty to charges of illegal possession of a firearm and five rounds of ammunition.
Banuli Lubanga, 34, a former prison warden at Kigo government prison and David Okello, a 20-year-old security guard with Rock Security Limited, have been sentenced by a seven-member panel chaired by Lt. Gen. Andrew Gutti. The duo was two weeks ago convicted based on their own guilty plea, and have been sentenced today.
Court heard that Banuli and Okello on June 22, 2019, while at Total fuel station in Nsambya were found in illegal possession of five rounds of ammunition and a gun serial number SAR ESO-80707649-9134, which is ordinarily a preserve for the defence forces.
The fuel station is owned by four-time presidential candidate and opposition doyen Dr Kizza Besigye. On the first day when the duo was brought to court on August 5 2019, they denied the charges.
But over a year later on October 5, 2020, when the case returned to court to be updated on the progress of investigations, the accused through their lawyer Maj. Silas Kamanda Mutungi, changed their plea and accepted the two charges against them.
They were accordingly convicted. Army prosecutor Capt. Ambrose Baguma asked court to hand the convicts a deterrent sentence because cases of illegal possession of firearms have become rampant. However, the defense lawyer, Kamanda told court that the convicts are first time offenders who didn't waste court's time and should therefore be given a non-custodial sentence.
For Banuli, Kamanda told court that he has become a problem to the people in prison who have to lift him all the time because he lost one of his legs in the botched robbery.
In his sentence, Gutti said that he had considered all the mitigating factors by both sides and decided to sentence the accused to four years and five months. However, Gutti said he will deduct the time they have been in jail since June 2019 to date.
As such, Gutti said the convicts will now spend three years and one month and 3 days at Kigo government prison starting today. The convicts were arrested by Flying Squad operatives last year, who, claimed that they had trailed them following a tip-off about a plan to rob the said fuel station and a nearby supermarket.
Two other suspected thugs who were privy to the botched robbery were shot dead at the scene while Banuli who has been sentenced today was shot in the leg which later got amputated.
Meanwhile, another civilian Augustine Mande has also been sentenced to two years in jail also for being found guilty of illegal possession of a firearm. Mande who was jointly charged with Geoffrey Tumwesigye who broke down into tears following a sentence given to him following his own plea of guilty.