By Andrew Ssenyonga
MBUYA - The army court has sentenced a UPDF soldier to a total of 35 years in jail for the murder of three people, as well as for the attempted murder of four others.
One of the three people Pte Patrick Odong Kalyango has been imprisoned for killing was a fellow soldier.
He will serve the two sentences of murder and attempted murder concurrently. However, he has 14 days to appeal.
Court, presided over by Col. John Bwirizayo, made its ruling at a sitting at Mbuya centre zone, Kinawataka in Kampala.
During the court session, Odong remain composed and calm, hardly giving away any expression of emotion even after judgment was delivered. He waved at the crowd outside court and appeared to enjoy a cigarette on his way to Luzira Upper Prison.
He is accused of shooting dead three people at a bar in Mbuya centre zone last year on December 22.
The prosecution team told court that Odong killed Private Caesar Okello, Scovia Asira – his lover – and Junior Okello.
Court made wider consultations in regard to the international humanitarian laws which are against the death penalty.
Pte Patrick Odong did not let off much emotion as he appeared before the army court in Mbuya. PHOTO/Peter Busomoke
The sentence was received by a plethora of mixed reactions from the public.
Aisha Kiwanuka, an area resident, seemed satisfied with the court’s decision, seeing it as a deterrent for others.
But others, including relatives of those who died in the incident, said the jail term can never be equated to the lives of their loved ones.
Moses Kibuuka, a friend to one of those killed in the shooting, told New Nision that the sentence was very unfair to the relatives of the victims.
“Odong will be very safe in prison but our dear ones are gone forever. We thought the death penalty would heal some of our wounds since the convict has no respect for other peoples’ lives,” he said.
Another believed the sentence was fair and an equivalent of the death penalty, arguing that the convict would be in jail for a long time with little hope of leaving prison alive.
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35 years in jail for soldier over Mbuya murder