Women and Justice: Court: High Court at Mbale

Domestic Case Law

Uganda v. Okiring High Court at Mbale (2011)

Sexual violence and rape

The complainant was carrying a bag of maize on the back of her bicycle.  When the bag fell off, the defendant and two of his colleagues offered to help.  Two then raped her and the third stole her bicycle.  They fled when a friend of the complainant came up the road on his motorcycle.  The victim recognized her attackers and identified them to the police.  She also went to the hospital for a medical examination.  The defendant denied the charges and claimed never to have seen the victim before court proceedings began.  The trial court found credible the complainant and the prosecution’s other corroborating witnesses, which included the complainant's male friend who found her immediately after the rapes, local council members, and police.  The Court made clear that the lack of medical evidence was not dispositive.  As a first time offender who had served over three years awaiting trial, the Court sentenced the defendant to an additional 18 months imprisonment.

Wanasolo v. Uganda High Court at Mbale (2015)

Sexual violence and rape, Statutory rape or defilement

Appellant, a school librarian, was accused of multiple instances of indecent assault, rape, and sodomy by several students.  At least one student accused the appellant of “grooming” him for homosexuality.  On appeal, the Court found that the trial court erred by dismissing the appellant’s evidence before he presented it, refusing to let him call witnesses, and allowing her biases to interfere with the appellant's right to a fair trial.  The High Court overturned the verdict and set aside the sentence.