Grief filled the Kampala High Court on Tuesday evening, after four Muslim leaders who were yesterday convicted of terrorism, were sentenced to life imprisonment, while two others got 30 years.
The three justices of International Crimes Division court led by Ezikiel Muhanguzi sentenced Sheikh Sirajje Kawooya, Sheikh Yunus Kamoga, Sheikh Fahad Kalungi and Muluta Mudde Bukenya to life imprisonment.
Fahad Kalungi and Abdul Sekayanja on the other hand were given 30 years.
Relatives of the convicts broke down after the sentences were read out, while others collapsed.
“It’s clear that this earthly court has convicted them harshly, but we know that in the heavenly court they are free people with no case” remarked one of the relatives.
The convicts were taken back to Luzira amidst tight security by Counter Terrorism Police, JATT, Prisons and other security organs.
The lead defence lawyer Fred Muwewa said it was unfair for court to harshly sentence his clients not for murdering anybody but having religious misunderstandings with fellow Muslims.
He vowed to appeal against both sentence and conviction within 14 days.
“Court seems to have changed the meaning of terrorism because you can’t sentence somebody who has never killed anybody to life imprisonment. This has never happened in Uganda here and we hope that the court of Appeal which consists of 5 judges will quash both sentence and conviction” Muwema remarked.