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Muhokya Police Attacker Handed 32-year- Jail Term

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Muthethu told court that he was lured by friends whom he did not disclose to go poaching in Queen Elizabeth National park but found himself at a police station.
Joackim Muthethu at Kasese police station shortly after his arrest. BY THEMBO KAHUNGU
Justice David Matovu has convicted Joackim Muthethu, one of the Kasese attackers to 32 years in jail on his own plea of guilt. Muthethu appeared with eight others before Justice Matovu and pleaded guilty to charges of murder, attempted murder and aggravated robbery.

Justice Matovu is conducting a month long criminal session in Kasese district. Muthethu, who had earlier denied the charges, pleaded guilty following the acquittal of his co-accused. They are Regio Kyakunukire, Nelson Mwiraghulhu, Misaki Mirerembu, Wilson Mbusa, Samuel Bwikaraghe, Simon Bwambale and Selvano Kirima.

The suspects were acquitted after state Prosecutor Ayebale Tumwebaze told court that the Director of Public Prosecution had lost interest in their case save for Joackim Muthethu. Through his lawyer Geoffrey Sibendire, Muthethu told court that he was ready to change his plea from not guilty to guilty.

Court heard that on July 27, 2012 while at Muhokya, Muthethu and others still at large attacked Muhokya police post at 6am where they shot dead a police constable Ssemakula Mugabi. They also attempted to murder Corporal Levi Sunday, the Officer in charge of Muhokya police post, Wilson Mundale and John Baptist Kyaligonzas a resident of Muhokya trading center. The same group robbed two AK7 machine guns from the police officers. 

In his submission, the state prosecutor Ayebale Tumwebaze prayed for a deterrent sentence on each of the five counts despite the first that suspect was a first time offender. He said that the offense he committed involved gross violence adding that one of the two guns stolen has never been recovered.

However, the defense lawyer Geoffrey Sibendire asked court to give his client 20 years imprisonment since he was misled into the attack. Muthethu told court that he was lured by friends whom he did not disclose to go poaching in Queen Elizabeth National park but found himself at a police station.

He asked the judge to give him a lenient sentence to allow him to come and take care of his wife and seven children.  Justice Matovu sentenced him to 32 years imprisonment. He argued that such people if handed short sentences can be dangerous to the state security.

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