Court of Appeal Reduces Rapist’s Sentence to 11 Years

Rape NEWS Uganda
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The Court of Appeal in Kampala has amended the sentence of a man convicted of rape.

Originally sentenced to 20 years in prison by High Court judge Henry Kaweesa in 2019, Saidi Ssemakula’s term has been revised to 13 years by the Court of Appeal.

Justices Cheborion Barishaki, Hellen Obura, and Eva Luswata, on February 8, 2024, further deducted one year and 11 months from Ssemakula’s sentence to accommodate his time spent on remand.

“After considering the aggravating and mitigating factors along with sentencing precedents in rape cases, we deem an 11-year sentence appropriate,” the court declared.

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Ssemakula, represented by lawyer Henry Kunya, contested the severity of the sentence, asserting it was excessively harsh given his status as a first-time offender and his expression of remorse.

Acknowledging these arguments, the court deemed the initial sentence illegal and invoked its authority under section 11 of the Judicature Act to impose a revised sentence.

Ssemakula was convicted of raping a woman in Gwatiro Village, Butambala District, on September 10, 2017. While upholding the conviction, the court adjusted the sentence based on the circumstances presented during the trial and comparable sentencing in similar cases.

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