By Andrew Ssenyonga
ENTEBBE - As the judiciary looks to tackle the problem of case backlog, two men and a teenage woman were sentenced in an ongoing criminal case at Entebbe High Court.
Gideon Mpumwire, Livingstone Muyingo and the teenager were convicted and sentenced for murder, aggravated robbery and aggravated defilement respectively.
Mpumwire was given 18 years, Muyingo 10 years and the teen got five years.
While delivering the sentences, Justice Wilson Masalu Musene said the trio were given lighter sentences because they did not waste court’s time as they pleaded guilty on all their counts.
“When justice is done, it sends signals to would-be criminals,” he said. “You should come and testify as it is the only way justice will be delivered.”
Prosecutors managed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the convicts committed the offences.
Court heard that Mpumwire, who will serve the most time behind bars, murdered Benon Arinaintwe over sh2000 two years ago.
The deadly incident took place in Gulwe village on November 5 after a dispute sparked off between Mpumwire and the victim.
The other sentenced man is said to have injured and robbed Leonard Kawumba of his car on February 9 earlier that year.
Muyingo pleaded guilty to attacking his target with a machete (panga).
Then following a short court break, a fully attended session resumed to hear the teenager's crime. She was said to have performed unlawful sexual acts on her five-year-old step daughter in Namuzi village, Wakiso district.
Court heard that on the fateful day, the teenage woman instructed the young girl to lie down, opened her legs wide, and then she forced a stick inside her private parts.
She was arrested by police after neighbours came to the rescue of the victim when she made a loud alarm.
The court said it would handle 52 cases in one month, including 21 for murders, 15 for aggravated robberies, 13 for defilements and three rape cases.
Justice Musene linked the high number of murder and robbery cases to urbanization, land wrangles, unemployment and poverty in the area.
On the question of case backlog, he mentioned shortage of human resource in the judiciary as the leading cause of the problem.
He also said more judges are needed in the system.