The Magistrate’s Court in Mukono presided over by Her Worship Patience Koburungi, a Magistrate Grade One, has convicted Ponsiano Lwakataka, a renown rally driver in two different cases on charges of malicious damage to property and sentenced him to 18 months and 6 months imprisonment respectively.
In the first case Vide Mukono CRB 027/2019, Lwakataka and his cousin Ssekitoleko John were charged for maliciously damaging the fence of Namanya Joseline. In this case, the trial magistrate found each of the accused persons guilty and convicted and sentenced each of them to 6 months imprisonment. This case was prosecuted by Ms. Irene Nambozo, a State Attorney in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
In the second case Vide Mukono CRB 1714/2018, Rwakataka, was charged with 8 others for maliciously damaging the house of Mzee George William Kawooya, a 75 year old man.
Prosecution led evidence to prove that during the night of December 22, 2018, at around 1:00 am, Rwakataka took a group of people on a fuso lorry from Kampala to a village called Luanda at Seeta- Mukono, and instructed them to pull down the house of the complainant, and they complied.
In the course of the trial, all the accused persons absconded for a period of seven months and were put on warrant of arrest. Prosecution applied to proceed in their absence, and this was granted by the trial magistrate. Lwakataka was then re-arrested on 13th September 2022 and remanded pending judgement.
Consequently, the accused persons applied for criminal revision at the High Court, challenging their trial in absentia. This application was dismissed.
On 22nd November 2022, the trial magistrate, delivered a judgement against Lwakataka, who was present in court. He was found guilty and convicted accordingly. He was then sentenced to serve 18 months imprisonment.
By Rashidah Nakaayi