World News

Ugandan President Museveni seeks mandatory death penalty for murders after nephew's slaying

Posted September 11, 2019 11:31 a.m. EDT

— Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has asked the courts to impose mandatory death sentences for people convicted of murder following a series of kidnapping and killings, including one in which his nephew died.

"You may commit a crime, carelessly taking away the lives of others; however, you will also lose your own life. We need to make this clear to the courts. It must be an eye for eye," Museveni wrote in a blog post Tuesday.

The president's nephew, Joshua Rushegyera, was found dead with a gunshot wound near a car parked on a popular highway in Kampala on September 5. A woman with bullet wounds was found dead in the vehicle, according to a statement by the Uganda Police Force investigating the case. No arrests have been made.

In another case, the bodies of a woman and her driver were found August 30, two days after they were abducted from their home. Museveni said the killers have been arrested.

In that case, Museveni said camera footage showed policemen on duty were sleeping and failed to trace the vehicle used by the kidnappers when the victims' relatives reported the incident. The president said he had given an order for the officers to be prosecuted and dismissed from government service.

"If those who are in uniform today cannot do their job, there are plenty who will replace them," Museveni said.

CNN has reached out to Uganda's police spokesman for comment to Museveni's allegations and is awaiting a response.

Serious crimes, including murder and treason, can be punished with the death sentence in Uganda, but it is not mandatory and only handed out at a judge's discretion.

Uganda has seen a rise in violent crimes including robberies and kidnapping for ransom in recent years and citizens often complain that security agencies are not doing enough to protect them. An American tourist and her driver were kidnapped at gunpoint from a national park in April and their abductors demanded $500,000 ransom for their release.

Museveni said security is being beefed up and law enforcement is deploying technology to identify and apprehend criminals swiftly.