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Court Martial convicts 19 Karimojong rustlers

Karimojong rustlers appearing before court. Courtesy photo

Moroto, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The UPDF 3rd Division Court Martial sitting in Moroto has handed various sentences to 19 Karimojong rustlers who were arrested from Atedeoi government primary school. The rustlers were sentenced for illegal possession of a firearm. Prosecution led by Lt. Hamza Hirya told the court that on March 1st, 2021, at around 04:00 pm, one of the suspects he identified as Lomer Lengia revealed the presence of armed rustlers at Atedeoi government primary school.

He explained that the army swung into action and picked up nineteen men who were found drinking alcohol. He told the court that on further search, officers found Lokut Adupa, one of the suspects hiding with a firearm in the ceiling. Hirya explained that among the suspects were four minors aged ten to twelve years.

“This honourable court is mandated to protect people and their properties by punishing such armed criminals who have turned guns as their business to kill and rob peoples’ property. Let the law punish them harshly to act as a deterrent and example to others carrying out such heinous acts,” Lt Hirya prayed. In his ruling, the 3rd Division Court Martial chairperson Col. Bernard Tuhame found the accused guilty.

He sentenced Adupa Lokut who was found with the gun to ten years in jail and handed the remaining fourteen adults 7 year’s imprisonment. He sentenced the minors to one year in remand home. Mark Lokol, one of the residents who attended the court session at the third division headquarters hailed the jailing of Karimojong rustlers by the Court Martial, saying they will continue working with army court to get rid of criminals.

“Am impressed the way the army Court-Martial is handling cases, they don’t delay with justice and that’s what’s supposed to be,” he said. Peter Lote, another resident prayed that if civil courts could also expedite the handling of cases and jail those implicated, there wouldn’t be any more crime in the society. “There should be no sympathy on any wrong elements because they don’t have sympathy to people they kill innocently,” she said.

On Thursday, the same court-martial sentenced a Karimojong robber to 35 year’s imprisonment for terrorizing traders in Rupa sub-county using a firearm.

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