The trio before court. (PHOTO/Courtesy)
The High Court in Kampala has sentenced to 50 years, a UPDF captain convicted of masterminding the kidnap and killing of an Eritrean businessman.
Daniel Michael Weldu, a resident of Muyenga and owned businesses in Uganda and South Sudan was abducted from Kololo, a leafy Kampala suburb on October , 27, 2016 and the border later found burnt at the Uganda-Kenya border in Busia.
Capt Bumali Mangeni was convicted together with two civilians including Benon Duncan Lumu and Andrew Kisitu.
On Monday afternoon, Justine Flavia Anglin Ssennoga said the three convicts deserved a sentence that would ensure the trio serves as an example to other would be offenders.
“The commission of the offences was meticulously premeditated and executed . All the convicts acted in furtherance of an unlawful purpose and each one played a part in the commission of the offences as they failed to dissociate themselves from the heinous acts, “Justice Ssenoga said.
The judge said the trio carried out the mission immaculately that they were able to kidnap the Eritrean businessman from Kololo, forced him to withdraw money from his bank account that they stole and later killed him , before burning the body kill evidence.
“The deceased was kidnapped, threatened to be charged with made up offences, sedated into unconsciousness, robbed and was eventually murdered for the sole purpose of stealing money that he had on his accounts. The kidnap was as a result of fraud and his death was not accidental but deliberately occasioned in furtherance of unlawful purpose.”
“The body of the deceased was set ablaze with an apparent intention of causing disguise about the cause of death and to hide the identity of the deceased.”
The court said that the trio spent a lot of time planning their mission until their pulled it off meticulously.
The judge said it is appalling that the convicts didn’t find it into their hearts to be remorseful and give a second chance for life to the Eritrean businessman.
“The offence negatively impacted on the victim’s family, relatives and friends and the public at large. Such offences cause a lot of concern for security and safety of people in society. Because of commission of such offences people are not free to enjoys fruits of the honest labours. The sentences are meant to send out a strong message to the public and other would be offenders that crime doesn’t pay and will not be tolerated by anyone,” she said.
The judge consequently sentenced each of the three convicts to 50 years imprisonment for kidnap with intent to murder, 30 years for aggravated robbery and 50 years for murder of the businessman.
She also ordered that they pay shs200 million to the deceased’s family in compensation but also refund the money they robbed from the deceased.
“The sentences to run concurrently and the period spent on remand should be deducted,”she said.