Makindye General Court Martial has Tuesday released Hassan Nziwa, a resident of Bundibugyo district who was convicted of murder and sentenced to death by the Kasese Division Court Martial.
Nziwa was convicted in 2008 by the Kasese court for the alleged murder of one Rashid Sadabu Kamara, who state claimed was shot dead in the night.
He challenged both conviction and sentence before the Makindye Court, denying vehemently that he participated in the murder.
State Prosecution failed to file a reply to the convict’s appeal.
Court Martial Chairman Lt Gen Andrew Gutti in his ruling concurred with the appellant and blamed the trial court for passing such a serious sentence basing only on one person’s testimony; who couldn’t even place the convict on the crime scene.
The army court found that the state witness, Hajjat Kibebedewa (wife to the deceased), in her testimony didn’t identify the appellant, didn’t know and had never seen him, yet the trial court on page 41 of records of proceeding remarked that she had properly identified him.
Kibebedewa told the Makindye court that while hiding under the bed, she only saw one assailant, Private Enos Mumbere (Nziwa’s co-accused) in the house on the fateful night, with the help of the light from a torch one of the assailants’ carried.
Gen Gutti basing on this, set aside both the conviction and sentence and ordered the convict to walk free.
Nziwa, who didn’t understand the ruling in English language leaped into celebration after his Swahili translator gave him the greatest news of his life.