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Man in Kasese Jailed 27 Years for Murder

Asanairi Masereka Seketere a resident of Kizungu cell in Nyamwamba Division of Kasese municipality was facing murder charges at Fort Portal High Court. Prosecution led by Resident State Attorney Filbert Murungi argued that on August 4, 2017, Seketere and Julius Bwambale arrested and severely assaulted Joseph Mbaju before subsequently causing his death.
The High Court in Kasese has sentenced a 40-year-old man to 27 years in jail for murder.

Prosecution led by Resident State Attorney Filbert Murungi states that on August 4, 2017, Asanairi Masereka Seketere a resident of Kizungu cell in Nyamwamba Division of Kasese municipality and Julius Bwambale arrested and severely assaulted Joseph Mbaju before subsequently causing his death.

Court had heard from Assistant Superintendent of Police Thomas Okello, the former Officer in Charge of Kizungu Police Station that on August 4, Seketere and Bwambale came aboard a motorcycle to the police station carrying Mbaju who couldn't support himself.

Okello told court that Seketere told him that he had sought the service of Bwambale who was a crime preventer to arrest Mbaju because he had declined to pay his debt of 100,000 shillings for a long time.

Okello revealed that when he saw the deplorable state in which the deceased was, he decided to arrest Seketere and his colleague and then called the Central Police Station for a police van to rush Mbaju to the hospital for medical attention. Mbaju who was bleeding profusely died before the police vehicle could arrive.

Rev Dr Peter Kibingo the Kasese Municipal Health Officer who carried out the autopsy had told court that the deceased succumbed to cardio-respiratory arrest and shock. He also revealed that the deceased had suffered extensive bleeding from nose, ears and throat before his demise an indicator that he had sustained internal damages.

Dr Kibingo said the liver had been damaged and spleen raptured which is a health emergency that was not attended to in time subsequently causing the death of Mbaju.

Although Seketere agreed that the deceased owed him 100,000 shillings, he denied having participated in the arrest and beating of the deceased which led to his death. He even denied knowledge of the whereabouts of the deceased and only said he had heard rumours that he had died.

But his co-accused Bwambale had earlier pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter under plea bargain and had been sentenced to 13 years in jail.

Fort Portal High Court Judge Wilson Masalu Musene dismissed the defence by Seketere and found him guilty of murdering Mbaju.

Chan Masereka the counsel to the accused prayed for a lenient sentence on grounds that the convict was a sickly man who had undergone three different operations in a space of less than one year.

Masereka also said Seketere is the sole breadwinner of his family of a wife and four children thus the need for a lighter sentence.

But Murungi argued that there is need to send a message to the public against individuals taking the law in their own hands and prayed for a 50-year-sentence for an offence whose maximum penalty is death.

Justice Musene concurred with prosecution that life is a God-given gift which should not be taken away because of a paltry 100,000 shillings.

“Courts shouldn’t fold their hands and watch people kill others with impunity. Even if the deceased had a debt of millions of shillings, there was no need for such reckless and dangerous assault and beating to the extent he couldn’t walk or speak on his own. Such behavior is reminiscent of the dark days of Amin.” He said.



   

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