A 28 year old woman, Shamim Batariro, has been sentenced to 18 months in jail for stealing a car belonging to the Church of Uganda’s diocese of Kigezi. Batariro, a businesswoman from Ruhinja village in Wakiso District, was found guilty of stealing a grey Suzuki vehicle with registration number UAT 478N during the burial ceremony of businessman Apollo Nyegameha, also known as Aponye, in Muhanga town council, Rukiga District on July 12, 2023.
The Kabale Chief Magistrate’s Court, presided over by Mr. Derrick Byamugisha, heard that the vehicle had been used to transport members of the clergy from Kikungiri Archdeaconry of the Church of Uganda to the burial ceremony before it was stolen. Batariro was intercepted while driving the car in Rwampara District, leading to her arrest.
Before the court proceedings began on Tuesday, Batariro sought permission from the chief magistrate to speak with the diocese representatives. After being granted the opportunity, she apologized, claiming she was unaware that the car had been stolen. She stated that she had received the car from someone named Sula Sekasi from Kampala, who had instructed her to drive it.
Batariro requested leniency, citing her deteriorating health during the two months she had spent on remand. However, both the archdeacon, Rev. Can Enos Tweteise, and the diocese secretary, Rev. Canon Milton Nkurunungi, clarified that they lacked the authority to dismiss the case as it was under state jurisdiction, regardless of her admission of guilt.
During the proceedings, the prosecution, led by Mr. Raymond Mugisa, revealed that on the fateful day, Batariro had stolen the car valued at UGX 17.7 million, thereby violating sections 254 and 265 of the Penal Code Act. The state prosecution also mentioned that at the time of her arrest, Batariro was in possession of nine car master keys, five sticks of marijuana, UGX 480,000 in cash, and two trays of eggs.
Following the case, the magistrate ruled that Batariro would serve her sentence at Ndorwa government prison. As an act of goodwill, the magistrate ordered that the UGX 480,000 found in her possession be returned to her to assist during her sentence.