Fred Gatukaya, a 45-year-old man from Banda Zone III in Nakawa Municipality, has been found guilty of murdering a Chinese national, Yesu Yung, on September 1, 2017. The incident occurred at Nile Steel and Plastics Limited in Nangwa village, Nakisunga sub-county, Mukono district, where Yung worked as a cashier.
The Mukono High Court judge David Batema presided over the case and delivered the verdict on Friday, after having been transferred from Mukono to Iganga High Court.
Batema stated that he had delayed reading the verdict due to his transfer and had come to Mukono to specifically deliver Gatukaya’s judgement. The judge had planned to deliver the verdict on January 27 but was unable to do so due to his transfer.
Prosecutor Joanita Amumpire had led the case against Gatukaya, stating that he had gained access to the factory while riding a bodaboda, and then entered Yung’s office, demanding money. A scuffle broke out, which led to Gatukaya shooting Yung four times, resulting in her death. The incident was captured on the factory’s CCTV cameras, leading to Gatukaya’s arrest.
Batema read that Gatukaya had recorded an extra-judicial statement confessing to the crime before Grade One Magistrate, Sarah Tusiime, at Mukono Magistrate’s Court. The judge agreed with the assessors who advised the court to convict him on the charge of murder.
During the trial, Amumpire requested that Gatukaya be given a deterrent sentence, stating that he was not fit to stay in public following his behaviour of killing an innocent person. She requested a sentence of at least 35 years. Defence lawyer Annet Aweri argued that Gatukaya was a man of two wives with ten children and that he looked after three orphans.
She also stated that he had been on remand for six years, had chronic ulcers, and was disabled following gunshot wounds from prison officers when he attempted to escape. Aweri requested a sentence of at least 15 years.
Batema considered the mitigating factors and Gatukaya’s lack of remorse before handing down a sentence of 30 years in prison at Upper Luzira Prison. The judge deducted the period of remand from the sentence. Batema informed Gatukaya that he could appeal the sentence within 14 days if he felt that it was too harsh or the conviction was incorrect.