Man Sentenced to 32 Years for Defiling and Infecting 3-Year-Old Relative with HIV/AIDS

Kabale Court
Kabale High Court | File Photo
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The Court of Appeal in Kabale District has affirmed the 32-year sentence imposed on Emmanuel Benywanira, a man found guilty of defiling and infecting his 3-year-old relative with HIV/AIDS. The initial sentence was handed down by Kabale High Court Justice Moses Kawumi Kazibwe on April 13, 2019.

Benywanira had pleaded guilty to the heinous crime, but the court, acknowledging the severity of the offense, sentenced him to 35 years in prison. After deducting 2 years and 6 months for time served, the final sentence was set at 32 years and 5 months.

Unwilling to accept the length of his imprisonment, Benywanira appealed the verdict, arguing that the punishment was excessive and amounted to a miscarriage of justice. However, a panel of three justices at the Court of Appeal, comprising Muzamiru Kibeedi, Christopher Gashirabake, and Oscar Kihika, unanimously dismissed his appeal, upholding the original sentence.

The justices, in their ruling, emphasized the gravity of Benywanira’s actions, stating that the injuries inflicted upon the young victim were not only severe but also life-threatening. They noted that Benywanira’s act of defilement had not only robbed the child of her innocence but had also exposed her to the deadly HIV/AIDS virus.

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While acknowledging the severity of the offense, the justices also commended the trial judge for demonstrating leniency by opting for a 32-year sentence instead of the maximum penalty of death. They recognized that the trial judge had taken into account the time Benywanira had spent on remand, leading to their conclusion that the sentencing was fair and just.

The Court of Appeal’s decision serves as a strong reminder of the consequences of such heinous acts and reinforces the unwavering commitment of the Ugandan justice system to protect the most vulnerable members of society. Benywanira’s 32-year sentence stands as a stark warning to those who contemplate committing such crimes, emphasizing that justice will be served.

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