Court martial starts trial of Gombe murder and Bombo mobile money robbery

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GOMBE, Uganda

The Division Court-Martial of the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) General Headquarters in Wakiso district has started the trial of Lance Corporal Bingi Thomas who is accused of the robbery of a mobile money kiosk in Bombo before murdering a civilian and injuring two others.

The trial is being chaired by Col Edison Muhanguzi and the Prosecution led by Lieutenant Mark Omondi.

During the trial, the Prosecution informed the court-martial that on October 10, 2018, the accused robbed a mobile money kiosk and went on hiding.

While on October 13, 2018, the accused further robed around a nearby village Nageza in the same division where his plans failed and he shot dead one Kirumira Geoffrey. The prosecution added that, “as the accused escaped from the scene of crime, he is also shot and injured one Mwesigwa Daniel and Innocent Habomulemi at Kitungwa village, still in Gombe Division.”

The accused pleaded not guilty to all the counts read to him by Col Edison Muhanguzi. The prosecution has started leading witnesses against the accused. Captain Franko Kinyera who arrested the accused said he was got in Hoima on a tip by fellow soldiers who had heard that the suspect was on the run over the said crimes.

Prosecution has fourteen witnesses so far. Mwesigwa Daniel who was a victim was one of the witnesses against the accused.

Col Edison Muhanguzi told the fully parked courtroom that the move to try the accused in public is in line with UPDF’s zero tolerance policy on impunity.

“We shall sit here daily until the case is concluded and justice delivered,” Col Muhanguzi said. He also sent condolences to the family of the bereaved.

The accused is defended by an advocate, Lieutenant Emmanuel Arihihi and the court-martial is advised by Judge Advocate, Captain Kalaja Mugwere.

Members of the Court-martial are Colonel Kelvin Ejiet, Lieutenant Colonel Patrick Matovu, Lieutenant Colonel Milton Simba, Captain Robert Mukhama, and Captain Frank Mwanika and Warrant Officer Class One Ssekalombe Mariam.