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LDU Personnel Handed Life Sentence for Murder

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The LDU, Thomas Jolly Opoka was found guilty of murdering a 65-year-old resident of Amati parish in Oyam District. The deceased was identified as Francis Ogwang Munu, a member of the village COVID- 19 task force, who was allegedly assaulted to death during an operation to enforce night-curfew on June 27.
Convictes being brought to court

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The 5th Division Uganda People’s Defense Forces-UPDF court-martial sitting in Oyam has sentenced a Local Defense Unit-LDU personnel to life imprisonment for murder. 

The LDU, Thomas Jolly Opoka was found guilty of murdering a 65-year-old resident of Amati parish in Oyam District. The deceased was identified as Francis Ogwang Munu, a member of the village COVID- 19 task force, who was allegedly assaulted to death during an operation to enforce night-curfew on June 27.

Opoka's colleagues, Felix Okumu and Lance Corporal Geoffrey Ogwang, were convicted as accomplices to the murder and handed 40 and 20 year jail terms respectively.

Seven state witnesses pinned the accused persons for the crime in the court chaired by Col. Paul Omara. Reading the verdict, Col. Omara explained that the accused persons played different roles in the murder, a reason why they are charged separately. 

//Cue in; “A1 lance corporal…  

Cue out... Ogwang Francis Munu.”// 

Earlier in his submission, the State Prosecutor Lt. Alex Rasto Mukhwana said President Yoweri Museveni had warned security personnel against using violence while enforcing COVID-19 directives. He asked the court to convict the accused persons and give them a deterrent sentence as a caution to others.

//Cue in; “Your honour its… 

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The Defence Counsel Lt. Abubakar Nyombi argued that the LDUs lacked experience but needed to pardoned in order to serve the country.

//Cue in; “Your honour A1…  

Cue out… in this army.”//  

However, the state dismissed his argument, saying that the LDUs went through sufficient training before their deployment adding that their experience should have helped them to make a better judgment.

//Cue in; “17 years of experience… 

Cue out... the same nation.”// 

Section 188 of the Penal Code Act provides that any person who causes the death of another person by an unlawful act or omission commits murder, which is punishable by death upon conviction.

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