Museveni castigates court on Ekalungar murder case

ENTEBBE – President Yoweri Museveni has castigated the Courts of Law for what he called a lenient sentence in the murder case of Francis Ekarungar.

Museveni says, the sentence of life imprisonment given to Mawa Muzamir, who took lead in the murder of the accountant is very lenient and a source of provocation.

Museveni also protested the continued court resolution to grant bail to suspects in murder cases, challenging the position of making bail a right.

“Bail is not a constitutional right and must not be used to provoke the public. For somebody to kill a person and you give them bail is provocation. It is abominable.” Museveni said.

Museveni, who was speaking at a function at State House Entebbe in which six new judges, Inspector General of Government, Beti Namisango Kamya and her deputy were sworn in, also revealed that the State will appeal in the Ekarungar judgment, pushing for a death sentence for the convict.

Museveni said, someone taking another person’s life and you just let him be in prison for life instead of death is mean.

“These people conspired to kill the accountant, and one was given a life sentence, was the one they killed given a chance to live? Was death sentence abolished? The Case Clinic case will be appealed,” he stressed.

Court sentenced Mawa Muzamiru to life imprisonment for the murder of Francis Ekarungar, an accountant with Case Clinic in Kampala, while his accomplices including his wife Resty Nalunga, Huzairu Kiwalabye and Yiga Deo were sentenced to 5, 25 and 7 years of imprisonment respectively.

President Museveni said the judiciary needs to work on the ideological gap, where bail is granted to murder suspects when even the victim’s relatives are still grieving.

“This bail, what is the hurry? Who are you trying to please? Who said bail is a right? It is not in the Constitution. We are going to work on this,” Museveni said.

The President insisted that the Judiciary needs to address the ideological difference during judgements especially on criminal matters to have justice to the victims, avoid the growth of impunity but also to keep the judiciary relevant in the communities.

Citing a case of Christine Akello, a 43-year-old who was brutally murdered by her husband, Denis Alal in Lira City, although Alal would also later be killed by the mob using the very machete he had earlier used to kill his wife.

Museveni says these are signs that the public have lost trust in the judiciary.

The six new judges sworn in included; Justices Tweyanze Lawrence Gashirabake Christopher, Chemutai Tom, Alice Komuhangi, Nakacwa Florence, and Justice Wagona Vincent.

Also, the Inspector General of Government, Beti Kamya and Deputies Dr. Patricia Achan Okiria and Ms. Ann Twinomugisha Muhairwe took oath of office at the same event.

The President warned the new office bearers at the IGG’s office of high levels of infiltration, that has facilitated corruption to take a deep root frustrating service delivery.

“Your offices are infiltrated that you should start by cleaning it up and link with the public to collect vital information. Be patient and connect with local people, but do not frustrate whistle blowers,” Museveni added.

The Deputy Chief Justice, Richard Buteera, commended the government for enhancing the budget of the judiciary, a move he says would enable them draw justice closer to the people.

“This increment will enable us go a long way in bringing justice nearer to the people of Uganda. Our dream, in the medium term, is to bring justice to all the people of Uganda within a walkable distance,” Butera said.

The Budgetary allocation of the judicially was increased from Shs. 196 billion in the financial year 2020/2021 to a whopping Shs. 357 billion in the financial 2021/2022.

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