LDU guard Thomas Jolly Opoka will spend the rest of his life in jail for killing Francis Ogwang Munu, 65.
Munu lived in Amati parish in Oyam District and was a member of his village’s Covid19 taskforce.
He died in a night curfew operation on June 27. Lance Corporal Geoffrey Ogwang was commanding the operation on the fateful night.
The state produced seven witnesses.
Lead prosecutor Lt Alex Rasto Mukhwana told court that Opoka and his co-accused were well aware of President Museveni’s warning against brutality in enforcement of Covid19 measures.
“This force came from very far and UPDF has a clean record and we cannot achieve few members who are coming from nowhere to come and taint its image,” Mukhwana added.
He prayed for a harsh sentence to send a warning to other rogue LDUs.
The accused’s lawyer Lt Abubakar Nyombi submitted that Opoka, Ogwang and Felix Okumu were young and inexperienced.
Lt Nyombi prayed for lenience since the suspects could still serve their country with better training.
Prosecution punched holes in this prayer, arguing that LDUs had enough training before deployment, and their commander had the experience.
In the end, Col Paul Omara of the Fifth Division court martial sitting in Oyam read Section 188 of the Penal Code Act before sentencing Opoka to life imprisonment for Munu’s murder.
Okumu will spend 40 years behind bars while Ogwang will serve 20.
But the trio can appeal Omara’s ruling within the next fortnight.
Cases of LDUs, police and army brutalising civilians during the Covid19 lockdown have put security agencies in the spotlight.
The latest case involves an assault on Mityana District chairperson Joseph Luzige.