By Charity M. Ngabirano
If there is anyone in the music industry who has dedicated themselves to empowering women to stand up for themselves in unconventional ways, it is Swangz Avenue star Winnie Nwagi.
Nwagi is known to be a no-nonsense person when it comes to anything concerning her body.
In the past, she has firmly defended her skimpy dressing, citing the fact that it is her body and she reserves the right to choose what to wear and when to wear it.
Recently, the Sasi Ku Nyama hit maker was back at her self-defence ways when she allegedly slapped a fan who was recording her nether regions as she performed on stage.
In the video that went viral, Nwagi is seen to be warning the said fan who did not back down nevertheless. She later couldn’t take it anymore, thus the alleged slaps raining on him.
The non-apologetic singer has vowed not to stop punishing who she calls disrespectful fans.
Nwagi’s actions have drawn a lot of public criticism.
This poses an interesting question; was Winnie Nwagi’s alleged action of slapping her fan a crime?
Assault is one of the most common crimes committed in Uganda. Many people have been caught breaking the law after kicking, punching, slapping others or even simply pushing someone aside out of anger, revenge, punishments or settling scores.
The Penal Code Act divides assault into categories of common assault under Section 235, which states that, “Any person who unlawfully assaults another… is liable to imprisonment for one year.”
In this case, the accused physically attacks someone, but does not injure them in any way, for example, pouring water at someone, throwing a piece of cloth in their face, in a humiliating way.
We also have assaults causing actual bodily harm in Section 236, which states that “Any person who commits an assault occasioning actual bodily harm… is liable to imprisonment for five years.”
In this case, minor injuries like scratches are involved.
And then there are assaults that cause grievous bodily harm in cases where the injuries sustained pose a threat to one’s life. For instance, breaking one’s bones.
In Winnie Nwagi’s case, therefore, we could go with common assaults. Her alleged action of slapping the guy was an assault as it satisfies the ingredients of this offence, which are the fact that this act is unlawful, it was done intentionally and there was force used, by Nwagi herself.
What defences are available for Winnie Nwagi?
This does not make the slapping act lawful, but it does release the accused of any criminal responsibility resulting from the assault.
In order to prove provocation, there must be both a loss of self-control and provocative conduct from the person assaulted. Generally, the response that is termed an assault, must be immediate or in the heat of the moment.
In this case, therefore, Nwagi can argue that she was bitterly provoked by the disrespectful fan’s actions of recording her private parts as she performed on stage.
Also, the fact that she warned the guy to stop and he still went ahead, is a clear angle to bring in provocation. The burden is on the curvaceous singer to bring sufficient evidence to satisfy the court of provocation.
The writer is an advocate
Note: The article is intended to provide information about general statements of law and is not intended to create an advocate-client relationship. Contact a lawyer on specific legal problems