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Ibanda: Banana thief gets six years in prison

Ibanda Grade One magistrate’s court has sentenced a notorious thief and jail escapee to six years in Prison.

Isaac Rukundo, from Kabale district, is believed to have been behind the thefts of bananas in Kyabugeija cell, Bufunda Division in Ibanda Municipality.

However, his luck ran out when he was caught red handed stealing bananas from Humphrey Muhwezi Kyabire’s plantation in the wee hours of the morning on 4th January 2023 by the village security team.

The village had formed this security team following a spike in banana thefts in the area, resulting in the arrest of Rukundo, who was not known to residents.

State prosecution led by Deus Kyomya told court that the security team found Rukundo with 10 bunches of bananas – nine from Kyabire’s plantation and one more from Paddy Mwesigye’s plantation.

Police were informed and they came and took him to custody where he made a statement and was charged with theft, a crime that breaks section 254 (i) and 261 of the Penal Code Act.

Court also discovered that Rukundo had escaped from prison in Mbarara where he was serving a three-year jail term, and he was slapped with six years behind bars.

Her Worship Esther Murungi said the convict would have to serve his earlier sentence and then do three more years in jail for theft of Kyabire and Mwesigye’s bananas in Ibanda.

Complainant reaction

Kyabire welcomed the sentence, saying it will send a clear warning to other people that want to reap where they never sowed.

He however urged them to stay on guard in case there are other thieves still at large.  

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