UDPF soldier sent to prison for mass robbery raids on Lukaya Town Council in one of the fastest military court trials in recent history.
A UPDF soldier accused of participating in the robbery of more than 20 homes in Lukaya Town Council on Tuesday night has been sentenced to five years in prison.
Private Patrick Edema pleaded guilty to being part of a gang of men armed with machetes and guns who raided the Lukaya homes, raped three women, shot one man in the back and hacked a prison warder. His arrest on Wednesday morning and subsequent trial was one of the fastest in recent history.
Appearing before a court martial presided over by UPDF Major John Siyaleta at Bulakati army barracks in Lukaya, Edema admitted to causing grievous bodily harm to Rose Namutebi the prison warder and her husband Moses Musasizi.
The court martial heard that Edema robbed couple of 420,000 shillings before cutting Namutebi’s hand with a panga. When Namutebi’s husband attempted to intervene, the soldier shot him in the back.
Edema pleaded guilty to the assault, but denied the robbery charges. His plea was however undercut by the prison warder who said that he stole the only money she had, which she recently borrowed from a micro finance institution in Masaka.
Major Siyaleta ruled that there was enough evidence to prove Edema’s guilt and he promptly sent him to jail.
The sentencing of Private Edema has done little to assuage the fears of people in Lukaya who had never witnessed a robbery of the magnitude that occurred on Tuesday night.
There are rumors that he wasn’t the only soldier from Bulakati army barracks involved in the crime. With the other robbers at large there are fears of revenge attacks for Edema’s imprisonment.