Court name
HC: Criminal Division (Uganda)
Judgment date
3 March 2019

Uganda v Besigye Jamar & Anor (Criminal Session Case-2017/48) [2019] UGHCCRD 45 (03 March 2019);

Cite this case
[2019] UGHCCRD 45

THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA

IN THE HIGH COURT OF UGANDA AT MPIGI

CRIMINAL SESSION CASE NO. 048/2017

UGANDA:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: PROSECUTOR

                                                 VERSUS

BESIGYE JAMAR & ANOR:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

   BEFORE: HON. JUSTICE EMMANUEL BAGUMA

                                                     RULING

The accused person, Besigye Jamar was indicted with three counts of aggravated robbery Contrary to Sections 285 and 286 (2) of the Penal Code Act, Cap 120.

The particulars on count one were that Besigye Jamar and others still at large on the 20th day of July 2016, at Senene village, Butambala district robbed Wasswa Umar of a motor vehicle registration No. 066S Canter Mitsubishi blue in color valued at UGX 45,000,000/= cash UGX 150,000/= and a phone and at immediately before or after the said robbery were in possession of deadly weapons to wit a gun, a panga and knives.

 

Count two; it was alleged that Besigye Jamar and others still at large on the 20th day of July 2016, at Senene village, Butambala district robbed Kamya Peter of cash UGX 20,000/= and a phone battery valued at UGX 10,000/=and at immediately before or after the said robbery were in possession of deadly weapons to wit a gun, a panga and knives.

 

Count three: Besigye Jamar and others still at large on the 20th day of July 2016, at Senene village, Butambala district robbed Semujju Ronald of cash UGX 203,000/=  a phone battery and memory card and at immediately before or after the said robbery were in possession of deadly weapons to wit a gun, a panga and knives.

 

For the offence of aggravated robbery to be proved, there are four ingredients that have to be proved which include;

  • That there was theft of property.
  • That there was violence.
  • That a deadly weapon was used or threatened to be used.
  • That the accused participated in committing the crime

 

In Uganda vs. Dick Ojok (1992-93) HCB 54: it was held that in all criminal cases, the duty of proving the guilt of the accused person always lies on the Prosecution and that duty does not shift to the accused except in a few statutory cases and the standard by which the Prosecution must prove the guilt of the accused person is beyond reasonable doubt.

 

The prosecution adduced evidence of six witnesses, namely Kamya Peter PW1, the complainant in count 2 gave sworn evidence and testified that he doesn’t know the accused person in court and has never seen him. He stated that on the 20th July 2016 he was in a canter tipper with other people going to Kampala when three men wearing army uniform stopped them, put them down, told them that they had guns and they took their properties. PW1was robbed of his Nokia phone and cash 20,000/=but stated that he did not recognize any person.

PW2, Semujju Ronald another complainant in count 3 testified that on 20th July 2016 at midnight while they were moving produce they found a road block at Butambala where three men in army uniforms stopped them, ordered them to get out of the car and that he recognized the accused person. That the men took them aside took their staff and got 203,000/= and his phone from him. That they were tied with ropes and they left them in a bush.  

PW3, Muyanja Sendija testified that he doesn’t know the accused person in court and that he got to know of the said robbery from his driver and turn boy who told him that three men in army uniform stopped them and they took the car. He stated that while at police early morning, a car was stopped at police but the person driving managed to escape. That the car was his and it was given back to him.

PW4, Masereka John D/C attached to Kisoro police station, testified that he knew the accused because he received a complaint on 17th July 2016 about a robbery in Butambala. He stated that he was testifying in a robbery of January 2016, the complainant being Geofrey Lutaya who is different from the complainants in this case.

PW5 stated that he got a complaint from Muyanja about a robbery and that he stopped the car which was over speeding and the driver managed to escape. He stated that they recovered some items but he doesn’t know how the accused was arrested.

PW6 also testified that he did not know the accused person in the case but just recorded exhibits at that time of the alleged robbery.

It is trite law that prior to placing an Accused person to his/her Defence, the Prosecution is required to have established a prima facie case against such accused person. It is now well-established law that a prima facie case is established when the evidence adduced is such that a reasonable tribunal, properly directing its mind on the law and evidence would convict the accused person, if no evidence or explanation was set up by the Defence. (See Rananlal .T. Bhatt vs. R [1957] E.A 332).

In the instant case, all prosecution witnesses apart from PW2 whose evidence was contradictory testified that they did not know the accused person in court. This implies that the accused person was not placed at the scene of crime.

On that note I do not find prosecution evidence credible enough to warrant putting the accused person to his defence, hence prosecution has not made out a prima facie case against the accused person. I therefore find that the accused person has no case to answer.

I accordingly record a finding of not guilty and acquit the accused person, Besigye Jamar on all three counts of Aggravated robbery under S. 73 (1) of the Trial on Indictment Act.

………………………………………………….

Emmanuel Baguma

Judge.

27/03/19.