By Sania Babirye
Troubled Former Makerere University researcher Dr Stella Nyanzi who is charged with disturbing the peace of President Museveni and his late mother has asked the trial Buganda road court grade one magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu for an opportunity to meet her in chambers.
Nyanzi through her lawyers Isaac Ssemakadde has informed court that they have an immediate issue which they need to talk about out of court.
Ssemakade has explained that the matter should only be heard by the trial magistrate and the state prosecutors which the magistrate granted.
Now the hearing has been stood over for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, even today, court heard that all the expected defense witnesses including an expert in hacking Mustapha Mugisha who was supposed to be the first defense witness have again refused to turn up in court.
On the 28th of June, Ssemamakde revealed before court that although their client had chosen to remain silent right now, however, they had 20 witnesses led by President Museveni and CID of the Uganda police force Grace Akullo to argue their case and have Nyanzi freed and asked the magistrate to summon President Museveni, Grace Akullo among others.
However, Kamasanyu declined to summon President Museveni on grounds that being a sitting President, he has immunity from prosecution and that according to article 98 (4) such summons are illegal because “while holding office the President shall not be liable to any court proceedings in any court, however,He may appear voluntarily if he so wishes.”
Magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu wondered how some of the alleged defense witnesses including the complainant President Museveni can give evidence to exonerate Dr.Nyanzi over cyber harassment and offensive communication charges.
But Ssemakade insisted that their alleged witnesses including President Museveni who is the complainant are not a mistake and are part of the defense’s strategy to see that his client is set free and the said charges dismissed.
He then sked magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu to issue court summons to all their 20 witnesses to appear in court without fail to defend Dr.Stella Nyanzi so that she is set free.
Other witnesses include Prof.Sylvia Tamale(Feminist activist prof.Fredrick Juko a former law prof.atMakerere university, Columnist Allan Taaka, Feminist Mildred Apenyo, princess Solome Nakaweesi, ass.prof.Dr.Ronald Kakungulu Mayambala at the Makerere university school of law , Bishop Zaaka Niringiye,Rev.Father Gaetano Batanyenda among others.
Ssemakade further asked court to prioritize the first witnesses to be summoned to testify led by President Museveni, Dr.Mayambala,Eng.Frank Kitumba who heads ICT at Makerere university and others can follow later.
He also informed court that today, they did not have any of the 20 listed witnesses available in court to testify and asked for an adjournment.
When the magistrate wondered why Nyanzi who was not present in court could not defend herself, Ssemakade has replied that the accused for now remained silent and will be defending herself through her summoned witnesses.
Ssemakade however refused to affirm to court if Dr.Nyanzi’s decision to remain silent for now meant that she will be choosing to remain silent in her defense.
The frustrated magistrate reached an extent of informing Semakadde that without him bear clear on the way his client is to defend herself, he has nothing to write in relation to today’s proceedings or on how she can help the defense team in summoning President Museveni and other witnesses.
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 on the 16th of September 2018, while armed with a motive to disturb the peace of President M7 and that of his late mother , Nyanzi posted obscene messages on her official face book page(Stellah Nyanzi) while attacking the privacy of the President .