Makerere students in viral video reconcile with don, seek to drop charges

Prof Bernard Wandera (centre), who allegedly assaulted a Makerere University student, at Buganda Road Court on December 15, 2022. PHOTO/ABUBAKER LUBOWA

What you need to know:

  • The prosecution alleges that on November 17, at Frank-Kalimuzo Central Teaching facility lecture room, Makerere University in Kawempe Division, Prof Wandera assaulted Alkoro and Mirembe thereby causing them bodily harm.

Two Makerere University students have asked Buganda Road Court to dismiss assault charges against their lecturer,  Prof Bernard Wandera, who appears to slap one of them in a lecture room in a video that circulated widely on social media.
When the matter came before presiding Grade One magistrate Fidelis Otwao yesterday, the complainants Patricia Alkoro and Prisca Mirembe through Prof Wandera’s lawyer, informed the court that they had since reconciled with the lecturer.

Prof Wandera, a lecturer in the department of Social Works and Social Administration at the School of Social Sciences, is facing two charges of assault.
The 57-year-old, who is out on bail, denies any wrongdoing.
Mr Derrick Bazekuketta, his lawyer, confirmed to the court that the two parties had reconciled.

“Under Article 126 (2) (d) of the Constitution, courts are enjoined to promote reconciliation between the parties. This is a matter that requires both the accused persons and the complainants to appear in court in a case in which they have already reconciled and are on good terms,”  Mr Bazekuketta said.
“Their continued participation in these proceedings will instead sabotage the relationship they have now put into place. I was informed that indeed they wrote a letter to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) expressing their loss of interest in the premises. We pray that the accused be discharged on account of reconciliation,” he added.

Prosecution led by Ms Joan Keko told court that earlier this week, the two students turned up at her office, seeking to settle the matter out of court. She said she referred them to the DPP because she has no powers to do what they requested. “This is a case of public nature and the DPP in her wisdom guided that the matter be handled in court,” Ms Keko said.
But Mr Otwoa questioned whether reconciliation also applies to the nature of offence which the accused is facing.
He then adjourned the matter to January 30 next year for the defence lawyer to explain the provisions of Section 160 of the Constitution.

Case
The prosecution alleges that on November 17, at Frank-Kalimuzo Central Teaching facility lecture room, Makerere University in Kawempe Division, Prof Wandera assaulted Alkoro and Mirembe thereby causing them bodily harm.
Two days later, the university administration interdicted Prof Wandera and stopped him from carrying out his activities to pave the way for investigations into his conduct.
 

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