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Court of Appeal Upholds Man's 31-Year Sentence for Aggravated Robbery

According to the evidence before Court, on October 31 2011, Waswa asked Mukungu who was a fellow Boda Boda rider and his friend whom they had known each other for six months to transport him and two others to Namasuba along Entebbe Road.
07 Jan 2021 14:39
Deputy Chief Justice Richard Buteera led the panel that gave the sentence.
The Court of Appeal has upheld the 31-year sentence that was handed to a motorcyclist Hamuza Waswa for injuring his colleague Faruk Kauki Mukungu.

According to the evidence before Court, on October 31 2011, Waswa asked Mukungu who was a fellow Boda Boda rider and his friend whom they had known each other for six months to transport him and two others to Namasuba along Entebbe Road.

 But when they reached Ndikutamadda Zone in Makindye Sabagabo, Mukungu slowed down to dodge a large pothole.

Evidence shows that at this point, Waswa and one of the passengers got off the motorcycle leaving another passenger to strangle Mukungu. Then on his part, Waswa approached from the front, removed a hammer from the polythene bag he had and started hitting Mukungu.

As a result, court records show that Mukungu lost consciousness and was left about to die before Waswa and his colleagues fled with his motorcycle which has never been recovered to date. In the aftermath, a report by Mulago National Referral Hospital indicated that Mukungu sustained multiple skull fractures, extensive head injury, increased intracranial pressure and permanent speech impairment as a result of the head injury and is currently disabled and unemployed.

Waswa was then sentenced to 31 years and six months’ imprisonment for aggravated robbery.

But Waswa challenged the conviction and subsequent sentence on two grounds that the High Court Judge erred in law and fact when he found that he had been properly identified in darkness by the victim.

Through his lawyer John Mary Kimurahebwa, he also argued that the trial judge erred in law and fact when he passed a harsh and excessive sentence.    

However, in their Judgement, three Justices the Deputy Chief Justice Richard Buteera, Lady Justice Catherine Bamugemereire and Remmy Kasule, upheld the sentence noting that although courts have to be careful with a single identifying witness, Mukungu was able to recognize Waswa because he was familiar to him and the two had known each other for six months before the robbery and he had been his(victim) mentor as well. 

"The appellant was no stranger to his victim. Having reviewed the above evidence, we can safely conclude with certainty that the appellant was properly identified before, during and after the robbery.

After evaluating the evidence, the Justices also found that Waswa lured Mukungu into a den of thieves intending to rob a motorcycle from him and even when he was hospitalized never did he attempt to check on him.   

"The appellant’s conduct before, during and after the robbery cannot be said to be the conduct of an innocent man”, said the Justices. 

They upheld the sentence noting that it was lawful and Waswa who appeared in court via a video conferencing link to Luzira prison for his case hearing and ruling due to covid-19 remains there to continue serving the sentence.