The Nakasongola Army Barracks Unit Disciplinary Court has denied bail to Corporal Jackson Bitaryebwa and Private Enoth Tindimwebwa, both teachers who are accused of assaulting a student.
The two reportedly beat up Andrew Kasita, a Senior One student at Nakasongola Army Secondary School on April 25th, 2023 causing him bodily harm.
The assault took place after the teachers interrogated Kasita regarding accusations that he had stolen books from his classmates and given them to a woman named Ms. Adiru, who sells pancakes and fried cassava. Kasita denied the allegations. Kasita suffered severe injuries to his buttocks and back, leading to his hospitalization at Bombo military hospital.
Following their arrest, the teachers were remanded to Nakasongola Prison until their court appearance on May 23rd, 2023. The teachers were charged with assault of a student under section 236 of the penal code act cap 120.
During the court hearing, the teachers applied for bail, citing their month-long detention and the need to attend to their children’s education.
However, the Unit Disciplinary Court, chaired by Colonel Abdullah Adebasuku, rejected their bail application on the grounds that they might interfere with the ongoing investigation into the case. The teachers will remain in custody until June 6th, 2023, when the court will proceed with the hearing of the case. If convicted, the teachers could face imprisonment for up to five years.
In light of the incident, the parents of the assaulted student have decided to transfer him to another school due to the emotional trauma he experienced. Godfrey Lutalo, the LC III Chairperson of Nakitoma sub-county, who is the parent of the assault victim explained that his son’s traumatized state might hinder his ability to continue his studies in the same school.
“We agreed to transfer him to another school. We have already identified the school and sought admission as well as requirements,” Lutalo said. It is worth noting that despite the ban on corporal punishment in Ugandan schools since 2016, cases of such disciplinary practices are still prevalent, as evidenced by this incident.
The Children Act, with the insertion of Article 106A, explicitly prohibits individuals in positions of authority within educational institutions from subjecting children to any form of corporal punishment.