UPDF Defends ‘Rushed’ Trial of Sembabule Shooter

The Uganda People’s Defense Forces have come out to defend what was deemed a rather rushed trial and conviction of three officers this weekend, one of who was sentenced to death.

The army says speedy justice is what  the rest of Uganda’s Criminal Justice System should be emulating.

The Division Court Martial of the Special Forces Command (SFC) sitting Saturday in Sembabule town sentenced to death Police Constable Canan Nkamuhebwa attached to the Police Presidential Guard (PPG).

Nkamuhebwa was found guilty of shooting dead one Paul Tumukunde on Thursday.

The court chaired by Lt Col Moses Emeru also sentenced L/Cpl Johnson Abasa and Pte Able Katsigazi to 15years for conspiracy and 40 years for abetting the crime respectively.

The trail, conviction and sentence all happened in one sitting on Saturday.

There were concerns that such serious sentences were handed down to the trio in a process too hastily.

Government critic Charles Rwomushana suggested the fast trial could have been meant to conceal some details of the incident, saying, “I demand an open trial where parties are given a fair hearing and truth is revealed. “

The army spokesperson Brig Richard Karemire however, while commenting on the matter said there is nothing wrong with a quick trial as long as all elements of justice are followed.

“Those complaining about the speedy trial are nursing a hangover of the delays they are used to,” Karemire told Chimpreports.

“Speedy justice is what we need as long as the key ingredients are not compromised.”

The army spokesperson also reassured that the suspects will get an opportunity to appeal the sentences if they need to.

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