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Court Martial remands four suspects over aggravated robbery

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Brig. Gen. Robert Freeman Mugabe
Head of Court Martial Division; Brig. Gen. Robert Freeman Mugabe.

Four suspected armed robbers from Mbale district are on remand in Kitalya prisons after appearing before the General Court Martial on Wednesday for aggravated robbery and unlawful possession of firearms.

The suspects are Ivan Wephukulu, and Ivan Wekoye alias Kuloba, both boda boda riders, Hassan Makombe, a peasant, and Emmanuel Wakoko, a casual labourer. All the suspects are from Nashikhaso village in Bushikori parish, Bungokho sub-county in Mbale district.

The prosecution told the military court chaired by Brigadier Freeman Robert Mugabe that on January 30, 2023, while in Bunamalio village, Bukiende sub-county in Mbale district, while armed with two submachine guns, the suspects robbed Kenneth Matanda of Shillings 150,000 and a Tecno Pop 6 smart phone.

The court further heard that the suspects were found with 14 rounds of live ammunition on February 4th, 2023. They had prior to the incident been found with a gun at Nabumali town council on January 31st, 2023.

Three of the accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges read to them save for the prime suspect, Wephukulu who confessed to the crimes. Consequently, the prosecution team comprising Lt. Alex Lasto Mukhwana, Lt. Gift Mubehamwe, Pte Anthony Phillip Olupot, and Pte Regina Nanzala asked the court for time to prepare brief facts about the case on how the crime was executed before Wephukulu can be convicted.

Brigadier Freeman Robert Mugabe adjourned the matter to March 13th, 2023, and remanded the suspects to prisons until then. According to the Firearms Act, unlawful possession of firearms attracts a maximum sentence of ten years upon conviction while aggravated robbery attracts a maximum penalty of death according to the penal code act.

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