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Court Martial Jails LDU for 35 years, Hands UPDF Officer Life Imprisonment for Killing Protesters

The prosecution explained that Kirevu had gone to pick money from someone at Wandegeya police station and was arrested. When police brought in rioters, Kirevu was asked to join them and enter the cells, which he resisted.

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Mustafa Ssali, a local defense unit officer, and UPDF Lance Corporal Augustine Mugisha have earned themselves 35 years and life imprisonment respectively for killing protesters during the November 18 and 19, 2020 Kampala riots. 

They were convicted and sentenced by the First Division Infantry Court-Martial sitting at Kakiri Barracks in Wakiso district chaired by Col. Sam Mugenyi, which found them guilty of murder. According to the details of the case, Ssali was accused of killing Ibrahim Mutaasa Kirevu, a mechanic at Wandegeya police station. 

The prosecution explained that Kirevu had gone to pick money from someone at Wandegeya police station and was arrested. When police brought in rioters, Kirevu was asked to join them and enter the cells, which he resisted. 

The LDU ordered him to enter by force in vain. As a result, the LDU pushed him using the nozzle of his gun and later opened fire and shot him in the stomach twice. Ssali’s lawyer, Mariam Kansiime asked the court-martial chairman to be lenient, saying his client did not intend to shoot Kirevu.

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According to Col. Mugenyi, Ssali intended to kill the deceased because the suspect had already entered the cells.

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Col Mugenyi sentenced Ssali to 35 years in prison and advised him to appeal the sentence within 14 days if he is dissatisfied with the decision.  

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The same court also convicted Lance Corporal Augustine Mugisha for shooting to death Grace Walungama, a mechanic at a garage in Lugala, Kosovo in Lubaga division before turning his gun against Hussein Ssenoga, an LDU personnel.

Col Mugisha said that when the riots broke out, Walungama was standing by the roadside as he watched the rioters. He noted that when LDUs went to disperse the crowd, Walungama ran to the garage where Lance Corporal Mugisha followed him and shot him twice killing him instantly.   

He revealed Ssenoga questioned him why Mugisha had killed Walungama, he decided to shoot him too. Col Mugisha then sentenced Lance corporal to life imprisonment for killing the two people.

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Col. Sam Mugenyi asked the families of Ssenoga and Walungama to approach the UPDF offices for compensation.

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More than 50 people were killed in the November 2020 riots triggered by the arrest of the National Unity Platform presidential candidate, Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine in Luuka district.  

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