Museveni calls for tooth-for-tooth sentences for murderers

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has directed the courts to implement death sentences following wave of crime in Uganda. [Image: Courtesy]

Piqued by the killing of his nephew as crime escalates in Kampala, Museveni calls for an eye-for-eye justice.

President Yoweri Museveni has urged Ugandan courts to hand out eye-for-an-eye sentences for murder convicts and fired police officers whom he accused of incompetence after a series of violent crimes in the country. 

According to Ugandan media, the crime rate has increased in the recent past. Killings, violent robberies and kidnapping for ransom have led to public outrage.

As a consequence, there are complaints as citizens decry laxity of the police to pursue the perpetrators.  

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Ugandan police officials, however, denied the allegations. 

Museveni’s statement comes after two recent murders, where one of the victims was his nephew, Joshua Rushegyera and was figured extensively with the Ugandan media. 

On September 5, Joshua’s body was found lying near his parked vehicle on an expressway near the capital with gunshot wounds. A woman was in the back seat, also dead from gunshot wounds.

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Tooth-for-a-tooth judiciary

Museveni has accused the country’s judicial system of facilitating crime by handing out lenient sentences to hardcore criminals.

“We need to make this clear to the courts. It must be an eye-for-eye. Nothing less will be acceptable. The punishments must also be severe, including the hanging of killers,” Museveni said in the statement posted on his official social media accounts late on Tuesday.

Museveni also said that his ruling National Resistance Movement party believed in a justice system that extracts ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’

Death is the maximum penalty in Uganda for murder, treason, and defilement, but executions are rare.

Dismissed Police arrested and tried 

The President who has ruled Uganda for more than three decades also ordered the arrest, trial, and dismissal of police officers whom he blamed for last month’s death of an NGO worker and her driver. 

Museveni faulted the police officers for negligence saying that they had not acted swiftly to use the recently installed CCTV system on all Kampala roads to intercept their vehicle and rescue the victim. 

 “If those who are in uniform today cannot do their job, there are plenty who will replace them.”

Also on August 30, bodies of a woman working for a local non-governmental organisation and her driver were found dumped in a swamp east of Kampala after they were kidnapped in their vehicle two days earlier outside the gate of the woman’s house.

In recent past, religious clerics, civil servants and police officers including a popular member of parliament and a deputy police chief have been assassinated in cold blood, with authorities struggling to stem the wave of violence.

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President Yoweri MuseveniUganda