The Athletics coach, Peter Wemali who is accused of sexual harassment infected three national runners with HIVAids virus, court heard on Thursday.
The medical report tendered in Kapchorwa Chief Magistrate’s Court as part of prosecution evidence indicated that Wemali infected the female athletes with the virus.
Prosecution also amended the charges from rape to aggravated defilement.
However, Wemali was not allowed to take plea because of the nature of his alleged offences.
According to the presiding Grade One Magistrate, Hood Matovu, the new charges against Wemali are grave and can only be heard by the High Court.
Subsequently, Mr Matovu remanded Wemali until May 14 pending further investigations into the case.
Wemali was arrested early this month from Kibuli Training School on the orders of Sipi Regional Police Commander, James Ruhweza.
Mr Ruhweza ordered the coach’s arrest after preliminary medical tests on the three runners proved they were defiled. The girls are aged 15, 16 and 17 respectively.
Wemali has been in the spotlight since March last year when members of the national junior female team accused him of sexually harassing them during a training camp in Bukwo ahead of the Africa Cross-country Championships. The runners confided in team captain Moses Kipsiro, who asked Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF) to fire him. UAF instead turned the guns on Kipsiro by dropping him from the national team that represented Uganda at the World Half Marathon Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Despite earlier written complaints from Police Athletics Camp female runners indicating that Wemali was sexually harassing them, UAF said they cleared the coach after investigations. Police, who until recently, employed Wemali as the head coach at their training camp in Kapchorwa, also acted indecisively but Mr Ruhweza intervened after a stakeholders meeting during which the abused girls revealed their horrific experiences with the coach.
A Police investigations report, which had never been made public until early this month, indicated Wemali made sexual aances towards a female runner and used vulgar language during training sessions.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor