Six found guilty of Juba hotel murders to be sentenced

Six found guilty of Juba hotel murders to be sentenced

The High Court in Kampala has sentenced to life imprisonment, five men convicted of murdering two South Sudanese businessmen at Juba City hotel at Arua Park in Kampala and injuring another in 2018.

Justice Stephen Mubiru described the five as a risk to society who only need to be kept away in prison.

“I find the punishment of life imprisonment appropriate for A2, A3, A4, A6 and A8.  You will spend the rest of your natural life in prison and cannot leave prison alive,” Justice Mubiru said.

The convicts who are to spend the rest of their life in prison include Nelson Oribitunga, and Jacob Chothembo, both former security guards working with Saracen Private Security Company; Innocent Gumisiriza, a driver; Daniel Namara and Abdul Karim Kabano, both businessmen.

In a 2018 incident at Arua Park, Ben Kiwanuka Street in Kampala, the convicts stole Shs1,865,000 and $3,400 (about Shs12m) and then used a pistol to kill Mohammed Abdallah and Ibrahim Bakhit, both South Sudan businessmen.

The also shot and injured Robert Owachigiu.

They were charged with two counts of murder, aggravated robbery and attempted murder.

Sentencing the five, Justice Stephen Mubiru said whereas death is the maximum sentence for the offence of murder, he is inclined to impose life sentence to them .

The judge said whereas he would have reduced the sentence, he was inclined to find life imprisonment as a befitting punishment.

“The punishment of life imprisonment is befitting since they pose a risk to society and there is no proof that there is a chance for rehabilitation.”

He said that whereas they were not present during the incident, the two private security guards are a danger to society for breaching trust after being entrusted with firearms that they gave out to robbers who later killed two businessmen and also injured another one.

The judge said these need to be kept away from society.

Justice Mubiru emphasized that the five will spend the rest of their natural life in prison and that in case of prison remission, it can only start after spending 15 years in jail.

The judge also sentenced each of the five to 10 years and 4 months imprisonment for aggravated robbery.

The court however sentenced Nicholas Mugisha, a cleaner to 27 years and three months imprisonment considering his minimal participation and also his age(18) at the time of the commission of the offence.

The trial judge however urged the convicts to appeal within 14 days in case they are not satisfied with the punishments by the court.