The General Court Martial (GCM) sitting at Makindye, Kampala has convicted two men for allegedly being in unlawful possession of firearm and ammunition.
The convicts are James Moses Omoding, 36 and John Bosco Igume, 26 both subject to military law by virtue of section 119 (1) (h) (i) of the Uganda People's Defence Act 2005.
Omoding, a peasant farmer resides at Abongi village, Ariet Parish, Ngero Sub County, Kanyumu County in Kumi district.
Igume is a security guard at Mastered Seed Security Company Limited, Soroti branch and abodes at Kengere ward, Eastern division, Soroti municipality in Soroti district.
Upon changing plea from not guilty to guilty, the GCM Chairman, Lt. Gen. Andrew Gutti ordered the convicts lawyer, Capt. Brian Moogi to clearly explain to his clients what it meant to plead guilty.
General Court Martial Chairman, Lt. Gen. Andrew Gutti
"Counsel Moogi, you clearly explain to your clients what it really means to plead guilty, are they ready for the maximum penalty of ten years in jail!
Once convicted, it's not them to decide on which punishment to be given to them, it will be my court to decide," Lt. Gen. Gutti said.
It was then that court re-read the charges to the convicts and Moogi told court that his clients were ready for the consequences of the conviction.
"Since you've pleaded guilty, this court convicts you on your own plea, you will be returned back on September 10, 2019," Gutti ruled.
The state prosecutor, Lt. Col. Raphael Mugisha informed court that, the convicts had planned a robbery which was to be executed using a gun they got from Tororo.
However, on their way from Tororo, they were trailed by police intelligence up to Makindye were they were cordoned off," Mugisha said.
He added, "Much as they have no criminal record, and are first time offenders, we pray that they are given a maximum penalty of ten years in jail. This will help to deter the would-be offenders," he said.
On mitigation, the defence counsel told court to give a lenient sentence to his clients on grounds that they are first time offenders who did not waste court's time and resources.
The prosecution alleges that the convicts and others still at large on April 8, 2019 while at Kabusu in Kampala district were found in unlawful possession of a firearm, AK47, ordinarily a monopoly of the Defence Forces.
It is also contended that the convicts were illegally found in possession of 30 rounds of live ammunition.