November 2020 killings: UPDF officer sentenced to life in prison, LDU jailed 35 years

The UPDF First Division Court Martial in Kakiri – Wakiso district has sentenced two soldiers for the murder of 3 people including 2 civilians during the November 2020 protests. Salim Mustaafa, an LDU operative and Lance Corporal Augustine Mugisha have been sentenced to 35 years and life in prison respectively by the First Division Court Martial Chairperson Col. Sam Mugyenyi.

Mustafa Ssali, an LDU Personnel was found guilty of killing one Ibrahim Mutaasa Kirevu at Wandegeya police station.

According to the Prosecution, Kirevu, a mechanic had gone to pick money owed to him by another man at Wandegeya police station.

Later, when police brought in arrested rioters, the deceased was also ordered to join the group and enter the cells but when he refused, the LDU personnel forcefully pushed Kirevu using the nozzle of his gun which ended up shooting him in the stomach twice.

The suspect denied the allegation during the trial saying Kirevu who was under arrest attempted to snatch his gun and that’s how he was mistakenly shot dead.

However, the Army Court failed to believe his defence and he was consequently sentenced to 35 years in prison.

The other suspect, Lance Corporal Augustine Mugisha was found guilty of shooting dead one Grace Walungama, a mechanic at a garage in Lugalo, Kasovo in Lubaga division and Hussein Ssenoga, an LDU personnel during the riots.

According to Prosecution, Walungama was standing by the roadside watching the riots and when an LDU operative came to quell the crowd, he ran to the garage from where he was followed by Corporal Mugisha who shot him dead.

The suspect later turned his gun and shot dead Hussein Ssenoga, an LDU operative who was questioning him for shooting dead, Walungama.

The Army Court sentenced Lance Corporal Mugisha to life imprisonment stating that his actions were completely out of malice and that should serve as an example to any undisciplined army officer who would carry out such a crime.

Col. Mugisha apologised to the deceased’s families for the delay in dispensing justice and blamed this on the bureaucracies in some government offices.

He further urged the families of the deceased persons to contact the UPDF offices for compensation as it is a normal procedure when a soldier is found guilty of murdering a civilian.

On 18 and 19 November 2020, security personnel opened up live bullets on the protestors in Kampala City rioting against the arrest of National Unity Platform Presidential candidate, Robert Kyagulanyi who was arrested in Luuka district. Over 50 people were killed and others injured.

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