Uganda v Mukama (Criminal Session Case No. 175/92) [1992] UGHCCRD 3 (15 December 1992)

Criminal law|Evidence Law
Case summary
The trial judge noted that four elements had to be proven by the prosecution: theft, violence, the threat or use of a deadly weapon and the direct or indirect participation of the accused. He held that theft of 1000 and 1200 (not 1000 as stated in the indictment) shillings from two different persons had been proved. Furthermore, the fact that one of the victims had been held by the neck and ordered to sit down and the other had been ordered out of his house and equally told to sit down all sufficiently amounted to violence. On the issue of the threatening to use or actual use of a deadly weapon, it was held that the prosecution had failed to prove that the gun allegedly possessed was an actual gun and not just a mere toy. As the weapon had neither been fired nor tested by an expert, this element was not proven. The facts however, supported a finding that there had been two simple robberies. Regarding the accused’s participation, the trial judge found held that the two victims who were also witnesses had properly identified the accused and their identification was watertight to justify the conviction. They had each had the opportunity to properly observe the accuse at a close distance, for a reasonable time and with the assistance of moonlight. One of the victims had also known the accused for two months, further favouring identification. The trial judge also held that the accused had formed a common intention to pursue the robberies with his accomplices and not only actively participated in the offences but also failed to dissociate himself from their commission. It did not matter that the money robbed was not handed to him personally during the robberies. The accused was consequently convicted of simple robbery on two counts.

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