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Mukono mother, son sentenced to 3 years for hacking neighbour in land fight

Mukono, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Chief Magistrate’s Court in Mukono has sentenced a mother with her son to three years in prison for attempted murder contrary to Section 204 of the Penal Code Act (PCA).

The convicts, Suz Isaale, 68 years, and her son Patrick Ssembatya, 37 years are residents of Nabitimpa-Katoogo village, Nama sub-county in Mukono district.

According to the prosecution, the convicts were involved in a land wrangle with the victim identified as a one David Onugulu.

On September 27, 2019, Isaale and her son attacked Onugulu who was in his garden weeding crops in an attempt to block him from using the land which he had earlier bought from her husband Samuel Kiyingi.

When he refused, there was a struggle and Ssembatya managed to remove Ongulu’s hoe from him and hack him with it. He fell down and Isaale caught a panga and cut his head twice, as Ssembatya hit his knee with an axe and fled from the scene as the victim bled profusely.

Left almost for dead, a passerby whom court identified as Francis Kato and a state witness found him and dragged him to the roadside, he then called the village chairperson and they rushed him to the hospital where he managed to survive.

The convicts appeared before the Mukono Chief Magistrate Racheal Nakyanzi who sentenced them to four years however, she deducated the 10 months they had spent on remand before they were granted bail and also ordered them to pay Shs 1,000,000 fine each in costs incurred by the victim on treatment three months after their release. She then asked them to appeal in case they were not satisfied with their sentence.

In her ruling, after listening to submissions by both the state attorney Sheeba Byakatanga and the convicts’ lawyer Edith Namata, who had asked that her clients being first time offenders and with families that depend on them, they should be given a punishment which does not involve them to go back to prison however, the Chief Magistrate explained the act they did could have caused the victim’s death.

“I have heard all your submissions however, court would like to acknowledge that the victim was injured according to the pictures, and this could have led to his death, court is inclined to send a message to the community that this kind of behavior is not allowed.” she said while delivering her ruling.

“I would have given them four years in prison but I have deducted the 10 months spent on remand before being released on bail, coming to three years imprisonment,” she ruled. “Because of the expenses incurred by the victim on treatment, they will also pay him  1,000,000 Shillings each within three months of releae from prison.”



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