KAMPALA, UGANDA: A Local Defense Unit-LDU officer who was arrested for the murder of former Uganda Broadcasting Corporation-UBC journalist Robert Kagolo, is awaiting punishment after he confessed to the murder charges.
Prosecution told the First Division Court Martial at Kakiri that on April 29 this year, while at Kasengejje village in Wakiso town council, Rashid Mamuli while on guarding duties at the home of the late Sam Musiitwa, shot and killed Kagolo.
The late Kagolo was a brother to the late Musiitwa.
Court heard that Kagolo was killed as he drove his late brother’s children back home from burial.
The seven-member panel of the First Division Court Martial at Kakiri chaired by Col Sam Mugyenyi has now set September 28 this year to pass sentence against Mamuli after he confessed to the murder charge.
Mamuli told the army court that he shot and killed Kagolo at Kasengejje where he was deployed to guard the home of the deceased. He said that he was deployed with a colleague identified as Opiyo to guard the house and property of the late Musiitwa as family members had gone for burial.
Mamuli explained that on the evening of April 29 this year, a car driven by the deceased knocked the gate and entered which compelled him to cock his gun and that when one person came out running towards him, he shot him in the process.
The LDU personnel attached to Wakiso Battalion said that he did not have orders to shoot and/or kill and that he did not intend to kill a person.
“After the shooting, I am the one who told them to carry the person to the car and take him to the hospital,” said Mamuli, adding that he did not even know the person he shot until he was told by his superiors.
He made the confession while appearing for the second time before the seven-member panel of the Division Army Court chaired by Col Sam Mugyenyi.
This was the second appearance before the army court after he admitted to the murder charges in May this year.
During cross-examination, Mamuli said that he shot to defend himself from a person who was running towards him from a car that forced itself into the gate without their notice.
Asked why he defied orders of his superiors of not to shoot, Mamuli explained that he was in a difficult situation that forced him to shoot.
Mamuli’s confession followed the testimony of the late Kagolo’s brother, Willy Gantungo who told the court that his late brother was shot dead by the LDU officer as they returned children from burial of their late father Musiitwa.
Gantungo, an elder brother to the deceased journalist testified that after the shooting, he rushed his young brother to a nearby clinic where he was pronounced dead and that he reported the matter to Wakiso police.
At the court session, prosecutor Capt Paul Rwabwogo tendered in court a postmortem report and a file of photographs showing the injuries sustained by the deceased, the vehicle which was driven by the deceased and the scene of crime.
Maj Gideon Makanzu, the court’s legal advisor explained that the testimony was to help the court members to understand the case in order to come up with an appropriate decision.
LDU personnel fall under the reserve force of the UPDF and hence they are directly under the command and control of the UPDF. They are subject to military law.