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Court dismisses case against suspended Makerere students

Prof Barnabas Nawangwe

Prof Barnabas Nawangwe

Buganda Road Grade One magistrate Joan Ketty Acaa has dismissed charges against three Makerere University students who had been suspended for organising unlawful protests. 

They include Frank Bwambale, a student of journalism, David Musiri, a student of information management and Roy Rugumayo, a student of commerce. The three students were suspended by Makerere university vice chancellor Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, on allegations of using social media platforms to organise unlawful assemblies.
They reportedly rallied students through Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp to protest against the university's 15 per cent tuition increment. The trio was later arrested and charged at Buganda Road court for staging an unlawful assembly and criminal trespass.

The prosecution presented evidence from three witnesses; Lonah Kamugisha, Bruce Amanya and Patrick Ogunya, all police officers from Wandegeya police station. Kamugisha, one of the witnesses told the court that although the students were suspended on September 10, they have never been served with copies of their suspension letters. 

Ogunya, the second witness who was also the arresting officer, said that he had obtained intelligence information showing that the accused persons wanted to destroy a stadium in Makerere which was being used for an international game. But during cross examination, Ogunya acknowledged that conducting a peaceful demonstration was not illegal.

Magistrate Acaa henceforth dismissed the case saying that that the evidence by the prosecution was lacking since the basis of the arrest was never justified. 

"This court finds that the officers who arrested the students were simply acting on the pressure from their superiors.  The students were arrested for simply lounging in their hall of residence which is okay," she added. 

The students' lawyer Isaac Semakadde said that they are going to sue the vice chancellor for damages.

Comments

0 #1 Lakwena 2018-11-21 10:13
In other words, the University (legal advisor), the arresting officers and their superiors act in ignorance of the rule of law and order.
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