Maria Nagirinya, Kitayimbwa murderers sentenced to life in prison

20 Oct 2023

KAMPALA. The key suspect in the murders of Maria Nagirinya and Ronald Kitayimbwa, Compoliyamu Kasolo has been sentenced to life in prison.

High court, Isaac Muwata found Kasolo guilty of committing six offenses. Kasolo who opted to defend himself when asked to speak, said that he didn’t agree with the decisions of the court saying that he is to file an appeal. Johnson Lubega another suspect among the five was also sentenced to life imprisonment.

The judge said Lubega directly participated in the kidnap, murder, and robbing of Nagirinya and Kitayimbwa. The other suspect Isaac Ssenabulya pleaded guilty and was sentenced. The judge found the duo guilty of each of the six counts. They are to serve each of the sentences concurrently.

He ruled that Hassan Kisekka, Nasif Kalyango, and Sharif Mpanga only facilitated the commission of the offenses and later took the proceeds for the crimes. He also noted that there is no clear reason explanation for why accused persons committed the alleged offenses except for the motivation to get money.

Muwata also said that the murder of the victims was gruesome and terrible and that no amount of punishment would compensate for the lives of the deceased persons. He said there is a need to punish such senseless criminals and deter others from committing similar offenses.

According to justice Muwata, Kasolo, and Lubega were not remorseful throughout the trial especially Kasolo who kept disrupting the court proceedings. When reading his judgment, he noted that Hassan Kisekka, Nasif Kalyango Sharif Mpanga, and Sadat Kateregga were remorseful and were first-time offenders and that they were not actively involved in the committing the offenses of kidnap, aggravated robbery, and murder.

He said that he gave them a chance to reform by being lenient to them and he accordingly sentenced Hassa Kisekka, Nasif Kalyango, and Sharif Mpanga to 30 years of imprisonment on each of the counts and deducted the period they spent on remand. One of the accused Sadat Kateregga was acquitted of the charges. The judge said there was no sufficient evidence pinning him on the charges.

Justice Muwata also said that throughout the entire trial in this case, Kateregga’s name was only mentioned in the charge and caution statement made by Kasolo. He added that among the over 10 witnesses brought by the prosecution, no witness pinned him on the cases he was accused.

Before the judgment was pronounced, the prosecution side led by Jonathan Muwaganya and Timothy Ameriti asked the court to give a death sentence to the accused. Amerit argued that each of the counts of the offenses carries a maximum sentence and he acknowledged the constitution under article 22 close which states that one person shall be deprived of life intentionally accepted in the execution of a sentence passed by a fair trial court of competent jurisdiction in respect of a criminal offense.

Ameriti also told the court that the circumstances of the case fall within the rearrest of the rear cases which must be considered by a maximum sentence to deter other offenders. Amerit also told the court to consider that Kasolo has been a habitual offender and Lubega was the leader of a criminal gang B13 at Mabiito zone in Nateete.

Julius Sserwambala who was representing Johnson Lubega told the court that Lubega should be given a minimum sentence because he was a first-time offender and that the case is not the rearrest of the rear cases as stated by his counterpart. During the reading of the judgment, security was beefed up by the prison service, and several prison guards were deployed outside court and inside which was not the case during the trial sessions of his case.

The court was filled up by friends and relatives of the victims to the maximum and others were forced to stand outside others inside to observe the proceedings of court. The late Nagirinya was murdered together with his driver, Ronald Kitayimbwa on August 28, 2019, following their kidnap in Lungujja.

Nagirinya was entering her home when she was kidnapped and killed and their bodies were dumped in Mukono along Kayunga road.

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