By Sania Babirye
Kampala high court judge Henry Peter Adonyo has overturned a conviction and 28 month jail sentence against Makerere university researcher Dr Stella Nyanzi.
According to Justice Adonyo, the trial of Buganda road court grade one magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu did not properly evaluate the evidence that was adduced before her leading to a wrong conviction and sentence.
The Judge has also faulted the state of failing to showing the location where the alleged cyber harassment offense was committed either inside or outside Uganda by Dr. Stella Nyanzi
The Judge further stated that since state was mot able to recover the weapon (phone or computer) used by Dr. Nyanzi in posting the said birthday message,then all evidence they had was circumstantial and ordered her immediate release.
However, Police was forced to fire live bullets to stop Dr.Nyanzi’s supporters from taking her home directly without going back to Luzira prison for official clearance.
In the scuffle, Nyanzi fainted and was carried by his supporters into the prison van alongside them to Luzira prison for official clearance and later be released.
Dr.Nyanzi was decorated with a tiara by the leader of opposition and speaking to the media, she vowed to continue with her activism of good governance and the need for change.
She stated that she was imprisoned for her constitutional right of free speech when she criticized President Museveni whom she claims has failed the country and must step down.
On the 16th of August 2019, the convicted scholar petitioned the High court in Kampala challenging her 18 month jail sentence for assaulting the person of President Museveni and his late mother Esteri Kokundeka.
Through her lawyer Isaac Ssemakadde, Dr.Nyanzi is challenged her conviction and sentence.
Among the grounds for her appeal Dr.Nyanzi cited an alleged illegal and inappropriate sentence that she says the then Buganda road court grade one magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu handed her on the 2nd of August 2019 after finding her guilty of computer misuse.
She also claimed that her worship Gladys Kamasanyu failed to properly and correctly evaluate evidence adduced by the state on top of being biased.
Further more, Dr. Nyanzi accused Kamasanyu of abusing rules regarding audio-visual proceedings during her sentencing in which she claims that she never consented to be sentenced via video conferencing link while at Luzira prison.
She also said that the lower court committed several procedural errors including failing to compel her defense witnesses to testify which she claims occasioned her a miscarriage of justice.
On the 2nd of August 2019, grade one magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu handed an 18 year jail sentence to Makerere university Researcher Dr.Stella Nyanzi after finding her guilty of cyber harassment
Nyanzi was however sentenced in absentia after she was whisked away from the video conferencing hall at Luzira for insulting the magistrate and flashing her breasts.