Capt. Byarugaba Sentence Surprises Children

Byarugaba (background) being hugged by relatives after the court session on Wednesday (Photo: Kenneth Kazibwe/ChimpReports)

A Special Forces Command (SFC) officer at the rank of Captain, diagnosis buy more about Onesmus Nasasira, has Thursday morning succumbed to cancer of the kidney, Chimp Corps report.

The death follows a protracted battle with the deadly disease that saw the deceased endure grueling pain for a long time.

Medical sources told ChimpReports that contrary to reports that Nasasira succumbed to Hepatitis, “he has for a long time been struggling with cancer of the kidney” at a private medical facility in Kampala.

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His friends described him as “friendly, honest, brilliant, playful, vigilant, intelligent and decisive.”

A one Godfrey Ninsiima mourned Nasasira’s death: “It’s very sad it wouldn’t have been him at this age when everybody is expecting much from him. He was humble, generous, dedicated and God fearing officer.”

Ugandan news anchors Rosemary Nankabirwa and Francis Bbale recently succumbed to cancer.

During the funeral ceremony of Bbale, Buganda Presidential advisor, Robert Ssebunya said cancer is becoming endemic and many victims remain unaware of their condition until it’s too late.

Cancer is a disease that develops when normal body cells change and begin to grow in an abnormal and uncontrolled way. In some types of cancer the uncontrolled growth causes a lump/swelling.

In other types of cancer a large number of abnormal cells results for example in blood cancer called leukemia.

According to Dr. Joyce Balagadde, Head of Research and Training directorate at the Cancer Institute, Mulago, 60 percent of cancer types are infection related.

These include cervical cancer in women that is caused by the human papilloma virus and cacosy sarcoma among others.

“These can be cured if detected earlier and treatment taken accordingly,” said Dr. Balagadde who also doubles as the Head of Paediatrics Oncology at the institute.

Preparations for Nasasira burial will be communicated soon.
In what appears to be a miracle to many including the convict, stomach the General Court Martial in Makindye on Wednesday handed a one year sentence to Rtd. Capt. Amon Byarugaba.

His children described the sentence as “surprising, clinic ” saying they expected a tougher penalty.

They expressed joy that Byarugaba will now serve his sentence at Luzira prison, leaving military detention where he spent 13 years on remand.

He was arrested in 2003 in the DRC based Ituri forest and charged with treason for being part of the People’s Redemption Army rebels.

His 22 accomplices have since been released after asking for amnesty.

Late last month, the court convicted Byarugaba in a 30-minute ruling read by the chairman Maj. Gen Levi Karuhanga. He cited testimonies from three witnesses who provided corroborating evidence, pinning him for being involved in activities meant to overthrow government through the use of the gun.

In their litigation, the prosecution lawyers led by Maj. Fredrick Kangwamu requested for a harsh punishment for Byarugaba whom they described as not being remorseful throughout the trial.

“He was charged with treason which constitutes actions meant to overthrow government but has not expressed any sign of remorsefulness for his actions. He should be given a deterrent sentence and should serve as a lesson to others that there are better ways of opposing government than the use of guns,” Kangwamu told court on March 24 during the conviction.

However, during his sentence today (Wednesday) the General Court Martial chairman said that though on conviction the suspect was liable to a death sentence considering the gravity of the offence, the penalty was abolished in the country.

“You ought to serve a bigger punishment because the offence was grave and would cause fear among the public. However, considering the 12 years you have spent on remand, being a first offender and of advanced age, I sentence you to one year imprisonment. You are free to appeal within 14 days from now. Done and signed under my seal on this 15, April,” Maj. Gen Karuhanga read in a 20-minute ruling.

Family Members Beam with Joy

It was joy all over the faces of the children of Rtd. Capt Byarugaba and this could evidently be seen while they were still seated in the court hall.

In an interview with ChimpReports, Byarugaba’s eldest son Fred Kakooza noted that it was indeed a miracle for their dad to be handed a one-year sentence.

“We always thought it would be big considering the events that had taken place prior to the sentence. We however maintain the charges against him were just concocted   considering that the prosecution brought only three witnesses without a single exhibit,” said Kakooza.


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