Buganda road court has set this Friday the 21st of June to determine whether or not troubled Makerere University researcher Dr. Stella Nyanzi should defend herself on charges of cyber harassment and offensive communication.
The date has been set by grade one magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu after Prosecution closed its case today with three witnesses.
Today, the third witness Detective ASP Harriet Kenyana attached to police Media Crimes Department testified before court that she failed to record a statement from Dr. Nyanzi because Dr.Nyanzi and her lawyer Isaac Ssemakade were too hostile, partly collaborating the evidence of the first prosecution witness, ASP Bill Ndyamuhaki.
However, when defense lawyer Derrick Bazekuketta cross examined He and tasked her to show in her statement were she indicated that Nano and Ssemakade were hostile, she instead informed court that she had not indicated the said statement in her official statement.
Now Nyanzi awaits this Friday to know whether the state did adduce sufficient evidence to rule a case to answer against Nyanzi or will she set her free and dismiss the said charges for lack of sufficient evidence.
Yesterday, Dr. Stellah Nyanzi was advised to stop using obscene language and being vulgar after a second witness confessed to court that he had seen the said alleged obscene post on her Facebook page and it was indeed offensive .
The advise was given by 63 year old Charles Dalton Opwonya the second witness and also a High court advocate and a representative of the Uganda Law Society on the pornographic control committee in the Directorate of Ethics and Integrity.
Oponya also chose to testify under oath because he believes that swearing with a Bible is a sin.
He informed court that on the 21st of September 2018, he visited Facebook on a memorial day for his deceased wife bu shockingly, he landed on an obscene post that had been written and posted by Nyanzi .
Opwonya further testified that had held Dr. Nyanzi in high regard as a senior researcher but after seeing her publicly stripping naked at Makerere University and on top of writing what he has termed as disgusting poems” ; he lost all the respect he had for her .
Opwonya who claimed to have reported the alleged obscene matter to the OC CID Kampala Metropolitan -Kampala has however faced a uphill task answering questions in cross-examination put to him by Nyanzi’s lawyer Isaac Ssemakadde .
He however through out his testimony condemned the use of vulgar words in Nyanzi’s poems as against to culture .
In May this year also in an effort to strength her defense, Dr. Stellah Nyanzi hired a computer law expert Derrick Bazekukeeta to testify in her favor.
Her lawyer Isaac Semakade revealed that Bazekukeeta was to testify to prove loopholes in the evidence that state’s first prosecution witness and also a lead investigator Bill Ndyamuhaki’s testified in court in an effort to prove that the said charges are baseless .
And during his cross-examination, Bakezukeeta informed Kamasanyu that Nyamuhaki’s testimony missed out on critical issues such as the devices used by Nyanzi to post the alleged obscene messages , the location where the posts were made and a possibility of someone possibly hacking into Dr. Stellah Nyanzi’s Facebook account.
Bakezukeeta explained that hacking is possible since one of the posts was allegedly made when Dr.Nyanzi was in a prison cell where electronic gadgets are not allowed .
He further stated that as a result state mere based on assumptions than the required proof in electronic communication cases .
On the 20th of March, the cyber crime investigation officer attached to CID Bill Ndyamuhaki 32 told court that he investigated the alleged offenses after the director of CID ordered him to do so
He began by telling court that on the 16th of September 2018 he investigated the alleged post on Dr.Stella Nyanzi’s Facebook face page and found them offensive in nature, crude, obscene and indecent.
He said that the content was sexually offensive because it talked about sexual parts which is offensive to any reasonable person in society including the president of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, his family and friends .
He red to court the alleged post and cited statements like “Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, they say it was your birthday yesterday, I wish the smelly itchy cream coloured candida Festering in Esteri’s cunt, had suffocated you to death during birth, I wish the lice filled bush and dirty public hair of a grown Esteri’s unwashed chuchu had strangled you at birth, i wish the acidic path Flooding Esteri’s cast Virgina canal had burnt up your unborn fetus, Yoweri, they say it was your birthday Yesterday, how painfully having a day, I wish your mother Esteri’s smelling virgina would not have given birth to you, I wish Yoweri Kaguta Museveni was a still birth that came from a smelling stinking candy, I wish Esteri’s virgina was burnt as badly as you have burnt up our morals and professionalism out of our public institutions in Uganda among others.
In the alleged post red in court, Dr.Nyanzi concludes her post by writing that “if you(Yoweri) want to beat me then find me at my home, ask the bodaboda man to direct you to Mama Stella’s house i refuse to be ganged.
He told court that he established the post and found out that Esteri is the president’s mother Esteri Kokudenka who was referred to in the post.
He said that he found out that Esteri is the president’s mother because in the post Dr Nyanzi referred to Esteri as President Museveni’s mother
That he came to know that it was Dr.Stella’s account because he used the telephone numbers used to activate the Facebook page and it was that of Dr.Stella Nyanzi.
He further told court that he established that the Facebook page was activated by Dr.Stella Nyanzi ‘s email address that starts with figure S in the middle, with five figures and i as the last letter and her email Stella Nyanzi at yahoo.com.
He also told court that he probed more on her yahoo account and established that it was activated by a number that ended with 17 which corresponded with his earlier finding of the same number that activated the Facebook page Stella Nyanzi.
He said that he went ahead and looked at the accussed’s MTN number which also ended with 17.
He added that he later got the number of the accused and processed a court order for sim card identification to establish if the number belonged to the accused, served the court order to MTN and there by obtained the sim card registration.
That as a result he established that the number was registered in the names of Stella Nyanzi by using also her passport.
He also told court that the SIM card registration details also contained Dr.Stella Nyanzi’s picture,Mobile number 0771 824117 and the applicant being Dr.Stella Nyanzi, date of birth 16th June 1974, Ugandan with passport number B0890700 a resident of Kampala Central and her signature and a copy of the bio data passport page with names of Nyanzi Stella, profession Anthropologists, place of Birth Jinja and date of acquisition 31st August 2011 and date of expiry 31st August 2021 National ID number with first name Stella last Nyanzi which she got in the 21st of May 2018 among others.
He told court that he got through Dr Nyanzi’s page by accessing her personal data through her yahoo email and printed it out.
He also told court that he follows Dr.Stella Nyanzi ‘s face book page since early 2017 because he was part of the investigation team that investigated an earlier related and similar matter in 2017.
He added that since he had been following Dr Stella for sometime, he was able to access the post and when this investigations came up he extracted the alleged statements from her page
Prosecutions also tendered in court the extracted documents (Facebook post) from alleged Dr.Stella Nyanzi’s Facebook page by the witness who is also a follower her cyber subscription foam signed on by thr suspect, her actual copy of the passport she used to get the alleged MTN number among others
At the beginning of March, grade one magistrate Gladys Kamaaanyu declined to dismiss the offensive communication and cyber harassment charges against troubled Makerere University jailed Researcher Dr. Stellah Nyanzi .
Magistrate Kamasanyu agreed with the state and accepted an amended charge sheet in which Dr.Nyanzi is accussed of uploading and distributing an offensive and obscene message on her Facebook page and there by disturbing of the president and invading his privacy in September 2018.
Magistrate Kamasanyu then ordered state to present its witnesses since the charges were propery brought before court, read and explained to Dr.Nyanzi in a language that her lawyer Issac Ssemakade said she understood before later denying the charges.
On the 31st of January 2019, Dr.Nyanzi voluntarily appeared before grade one magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu after refusing to appear in court on the 17th .
She did this against an advise from her medical doctor to not attend court until until she receives adequate post-abortion care due to an alleged miscarriage she suffered while on remand at Luzira prison.
Ssemakade told court that the charges against his client are duplicated and can not be proved by the state.
He explained that the first charge of cyber harassment in respect to Dr.Nyanzi’s alleged post on her facebook page on the 16th of September 2018, can mean Nude, obscene, and indecent and can stand as independent in their own by the law.
He said that combining them to firm ine count of a charge is illegal and prejudice to Dr.Nyanzi.
He then asked court to set Dr.Nyanzi free because the charges are baseless.l saying they are unconstitutional and duplicated since they cannot stand independently on their own.
According to Ssemakade there was lack of precision and clarity on the charges Dr.Nyanzi is charged because state did not follow the right procedures of framing the charges and conducting fair investigations .
Ssemakade had accused state of merely suggesting and proposing to police to carry out investigations on charges that are not particular or well stated.
Ssemakade further stated that such rules were violated from the time Dr.Nyanzi was arrested,detained interrogated , framing of charges, Pre taking and finally trial .
Ssemakade further claims that all this shows how the state is repressive against its own people especially opponents which he says his client is fade up with including a judicial system that operates under capture .
He also states that if the judicial system including the magistrate in this case fails to exercise justice fairly, then they will add her on the list of those who helped the regime to violate rights of Ugandans especially those from the opposition.
Ssemakade had said that the magistrate had the powers of stopping any state castrated tyranny,torture and mistreatment of those that oppose the regime.
Meanwhile the Uganda Human Rights commission started investigating allegations that Luzira prison Authorities have denied Troubled Makerere university researcher Dr.Stella Nyanzi her post Antenatal and post abortion care including Antenatal medical records and access to her private doctors after she allegedly suffered a miscarriage while on remand.
Ssemakade said the investigations started on Monday the 29th of January and Dr.Stella Nyanzi was expected to be interviewed on the 31st of January.
Ssemakade who welcomed the move by Human Rights commission, however said that it was absurd that it required external intervention by Human rights Commission for someone to access basic rights at Luzira Prison.
Ssemakade also said that Dr.Nyanzi was fearful on whether her inmates at Luzira prison who are willing to give evidence will be protected and that they won’t be gauged.
On the 10th of January Prosecutions asked court to dismiss Nyanzi’s application on grounds that the charges are lawful.
The DPP maintained the charges of cyber harassment and offensive communication against Dr.Nyanzi saying they were sanctioned and drafted in accordance with the Law.
Buganda Road court Resident state attorney Janat Kitimbo, informed court that the charges as they stand drafted disclose the time ,period of when they are allegedly committed , the specific place and which is Kampala on Stellah Nyanzi official Facebook page and also disclose the precise allegations and motive which is to disturb the peace and privacy of President M7 through distributing an obscene and lude message.
Nyanzi through her lawyer Isaac Ssemakadde in December 2018 asked court to dismiss the said charges against her for being bad in law .
prosecution however insisted that the two counts of charges were distinct offenses contained in counts of cyber harassment and offensive communication.
Kitimbo added that if court allowed her to present her readily available witnesses, her evidence will be in respect of all the 2 counts.
Nyanzi is at Luzira prison after refusing to seek bail and she is facing charges including attacking the privacy of President Museveni and that of his late mother , Esteri Kokundeka through her social media Facebook page.
Prosecution states that while armed with a motive to disturb the peace of President M7, Nyanzi posted obscene messages on her official face book page(Stellah Nyanzi) while attacking the privacy of the President .