UGANDA: SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS DEATH SENTENCES FOR 82-YEAR OLD
May 13, 2020:
The Ugandan Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal by Clement Wandubire, 82, who was sentenced to death for the murder of three people including two Police Officers and a Civilian old man, Pml Daily reported on 12 May 2020. (Sources: pmldaily.com, 12/05/2020)
Prosecution alleged that on 21 September 1998, while at his home in Kimaruli Village, Bugobero Subcounty in Mbale District, Wandubire shot and hacked to death the then Officer in Charge of Bugobero Police Post, SGT Etuket, Police Constable Ojok and another civilian John Musunga to death following a land wrangle.
According to Prosecution, Wandubire bought land which was subject of a conflict, which ended up in court, with the judge ruling in favour of the deceased John Musunga.
In top of the court battle, Musunga had also reported a case of malicious damage to property against Wandubire and on the fateful day at 6Am, the trio had come to effect the court orders, that would oversee the eviction and arrest of Wandubire.
After the deadly attack, Wandubire and his son tried to escape but a mob pounced on them and killed his son and Wandubire was saved by Police who arrested him and indicted him for murder of three people.
High Court in Mbale convicted Wandubire on all the three counts on 20 January 2003 and sentenced him to suffer death. However, he was unsatisfied with the court ruling and appealed the High court decision in the Court of Appeal challenging the legality of the sentence; reasoning that the lower court did not take into consideration that he was a first offender and was of advanced age.
However the Court of Appeal on 21 August 2017 confirmed his sentence, but he wasn’t deterred by his quest for freedom and proceeded to Supreme Court where the panel of 5 Justices of the Supreme court led by Justice Dr. Esther Kisaakye also upheld Wandubire’s death sentence saying although he was a first offender, and a person of advanced age, the circumstances under which he murdered the victims justify the death sentence as mantained by the lower courts.