35-year-old Masaka man to serve 25-year jail term over murder of grandfather

Masaka High Court Judge, Victoria Nakintu Katamba

Masaka, Uganda | URN | A man in Masaka has earned himself 25-years in jail for murdering his grandfather. Masaka High Court Judge, Victoria Nakintu Katamba sentenced 35-year-old Gregory Ssempijja to 25 years in jail after finding him guilty of killing his 80-year-old grandfather, Albert Suli Ssalongo.  

According to the court records, Ssempijja committed the offence on August 18th 2020 in Kalungu trading center in Kalungu rural sub-county in Kalungu district.

Prosecution led by Jacob Nahurira told High Court that Ssempijja grew up with his grandfather, Suli Ssaloingo who gave him 4 acres of land because of the love he had for him.

However, instead of using the land, Ssempijja started selling it off, which didn’t go down well with his grandfather.  

According to Nahurira, the deceased confronted Ssempijja to explain why he was selling the land he had given to him leading to a misunderstanding that resulted in a fight. Ssempijja reportedly kicked the old man on the cheats leading to internal injuries that cost his life. 

Nahurira told the court that Ssempijja betrayed his grandfather that raised him since he was 2 years old when he was abandoned by his parents. He asked the court to hand him a long custodial sentence to serve as an example to people who betray their relatives and people that help them. 

“He has spent court’s time and resources to go through full trial yet he was aware that he had led to his grandfathers’ death, the man that raised him and gave him his land. He deserves a long custodial sentence of 35 years imprisonment so that this can send a message to other people that may behave as Ssempijja,” he argued.

Ssempijja’s Defense Lawyer, Herbert Yawe told the court that his client is a first time offender who has 3 children of school-going age he has to look after since their mother abandoned them. He asked the court to give him a sentence he can serve and return to his family. 

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He also asked the court to consider the 5 years and 1 month his client has spent on remand while handing him a sentence.  In her judgment, Justice Nankintu concurred with the prosecution, saying it had produced sufficient evidence proving that Ssempijja indeed killed his grandfather. She handed him 25 years in jail but deducted the 5 years and 1 month he has spent on remand.

“The state lawyer had asked for 35-year imprisonment and your layer asked for 12 years given that you’re a first-time offender and you have children to look after the court has considered 5 years and 1-month you have spent on remand to reach a sentence of 19 years and 11 months. This will serve as an example to people out there that decides to turn against people that have raised them,” she added.