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Kenyan national handed two year sentence for stalking DPP

FILE: Akumu in court. URN photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Kenyan national Oloo Jared Akumu, is set to spend the next two years in jail for stalking the Director of Public Prosecutions, Jane Frances Abodo. The Utilities and Wildlife Court Chief Magistrate, Gladys Kamasanyu sentenced Akumu on Tuesday after finding him guilty of stalking and offensive communication, using his email address to send Justice Abodo threatening e-mails.

The court heard that between September 15th, 2021, and November 2nd, 2021, from unknown places, Akumu willfully and repeatedly used his mail to harass the DPP by sending threatening e-mails and attachments to her official email address. While convicting Akumu last week, Kamasanyu noted that when Abodo received the emails and started reviewing them, she was afraid and fearful for her life.

She noted that Akumu threatened to print Abodo’s photos and pin them on all billboards across East Africa such that everyone including President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, her appointing authority could know that she is a corrupt person. Trouble for Akumu started when he borrowed an unspecified amount of money and offered his truck as security.

He decided to return to Kenya where he spent five years, which forced the creditor to sell off the truck to recover the money. Upon return, Akumu filed a case of vehicle theft at the Law Development Centre Court in Kampala. The DPP called the file and found that the accused person had no case and consequently closed the case file.

This didn’t go down well with Akumu who started sending threatening messages to the DPP, claiming that she had pocketed a bribe to kill the case. According to the court, even when the DPP gave advice regarding the vehicle theft, Akumu continued threatening her and disturbing her peace without a legitimate purpose for communication.

The prosecution led by Jonathan Muwaganya and Joan Keko asked for a custodial sentence, arguing that cyberstalking has become rampant, which calls for a deterrent sentence. To mitigate the sentence, Akumu told court that he was a first-time offender with a family to look after and therefore should be given a lenient sentence.

In her decision, Kamasanyu agreed with the prosecution that cases of cyberstalking are rampant in the country and that many people have increasingly used computers to harass others and many times go without being punished. She noted that quite often the damage occasioned to the victims or complainants can not be reversed.

“In this particular case, a whole DPP of Uganda was not spared. She fell victim to the need to cumber the offenses down. I also noted that up to the level of mitigation after you were convicted, Mr. Oloo you still appeared unremorseful. You have up to now not realized any fault in your communication with the DPP of Uganda. You still insisted that you followed the procedure up to the DPP and you saw nothing wrong with the way you communicated,” said Kamasanyu.

She noted that Akumu acted with impunity while committing the offenses when he choose to do them repeatedly because there was no justification for his action since the DPP acted on his file while exercising her constitutional mandate. Kamasanyu argued that Akumu deserved a punishment that will help him reform and deter any other person from committing a similar crime.

She noted that since Akumu is not yet remorseful, a punishment of a fine would not have any impact on him and handed him two years’ imprisonment for the offense of cyberstalking and nine months imprisonment for the offense of offensive communication. She however deducted eight months that Akumu has spent on remand and said the sentence will run concurrently.

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