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Two Get Four Years for Trying to Rob Besigye's Business

The defense lawyer told court that Banuli has become a problem to people in prison who have to lift him all the time because he lost his leg in the botched robbery.
19 Oct 2020 13:08
Banuli Lubanga and David Okello have been sentenced to four years in jail over illegal possession of a firearm. They were found attempting to rob Dr Kiiza Besigye's fuel Station in Nsambya.
The General Court Martial in Makindye has sentenced two security men to four years in jail after being found guilty of illegal possession of a firearm and five rounds of ammunition.

The two, Banuli Lubanga 34 a former prison warden at Kigo government prison and David Okello, a 20-year-old security guard with Rock Security Limited, have been sentenced by a seven member panel chaired by Lt General Andrew Gutti. 

The duo were two weeks ago convicted basing on their own plea of guilty, and have been sentenced today .

Court heard that Banuli and Okello on June 22, 2019  at Total Fuel Station in Nsambya  were found in illegal possession of five rounds of ammunition and a gun serial number SAR ESO-80707649-9134 which is ordinarily a preserve for the Defence Forces 

The said fuel Station is owned by four-time Presidential Candidate Dr Kiiza Besigye.

However, on the first day when the duo was brought to court on August 5 2019, they denied the charges.

But on October 5 2020 when the case returned to court to be updated on the progress of investigations, the accused through their lawyer Major Silas Kamanda Mutungi changed their plea and accepted the two charges against them. 

They were accordingly convicted. But the army prosecutor Captain Ambrose Baguma asked court to hand the convicts  a deterrent sentence because cases of illegal possession of firerms  have been rampant.

However, the Defense lawyer told court that the convicts are first time offenders who didn't waste court's time and should therefore be given a non-custodial sentence.

For Banuli, the  defense lawyer told court that he has become a problem  to people in prison who have to lift him all the time because he lost one of his legs in the botched robbery.

However in his sentence, Lt General  Gutti said that he had  considered all the mitigating factors by both sides and decided to sentence the accused to four years and five months. However, Gutti  said he will deduct the time they have been in jail since June 2019 to date.

As such, Gutti said the convicts  will now spend three years and one month and 3 days at Kigo government prison starting today.

The convicts were arrested by Flying Squad Operatives last year who claimed that  they had  trailed them  following a tip-off about a plan to rob the  said fuel station and a nearby supermarket. 

As a result, two suspected thugs who were privy to the botched robbery were shot dead at the scene and Banuli who has been sentenced today  was shot in the leg and later it was amputated.

Meanwhile another civilian Augustine Mande has also been sentenced to two years in jail also for being found guilty of  illegal possession of a firearm.

Mande who was jointly charged with Geoffrey Tumwesigye broke down into tears following a sentence given to him on his own plea of guilty.