Nyanzi’s fate to be sealed on Friday

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

BACKGROUND

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 .

Computer law expert says Stella Nyanzi’s account might have been hacked

By Sania Babirye

In an effort to strength her defense, the troubled Jailed Makerere University Researcher Dr. Stellah Nyanzi has hired a computer law expert Derrick Bazekukeeta to testify in her favor against the cyber harassment and offensive communication charges slapped against her by the state.

As she returned today before Buganda road court for further hearing of her case, Nyanzi’s lawyer Isaac Semakade revealed that Bazekukeeta is 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 .

During his cross-examination, Bakezukeeta has informed grade one magistrate Gladys 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 has explained that hacking is possible since one of the posts was allegedly made when Dr.Nyanzi is in a prison cell where electronic gadgets are not allowed .

He has further stated that as a result state mere based on assumptions than the required proof in electronic communication cases .

The case has further been adjourned to the 13th of May and Dr.Nyanzi has further been sent back on remand at Luzira prison until then.

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 colored 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 gaged.

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 [email protected] 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 the suspect, her actual copy of the passport she used to get the alleged MTN number among others

BACKGROUND

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 accused 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 properly 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.

Court orders MUK to compensate Nyanzi

By Sania Babirye

Makerere University has been ordered to pay costs to its jailed researcher Dr Stella Nyanzi after the university failed to file on time a response to her application against the University for refusing to re-instate her at her job.

The order has been issued by high court judge Lydia Mugambe after justice Mugambe dismissed submissions by university lawyer Hudson Musoke that he failed to file its written response because he was not notified in time.

The case had come up for hearing, however this could not go on because Hudson claimed to have been notified only yesyerday about the application giving him not enough time to file his written response.

But when she checked the court records, the judge discovered that indeed the university was served on the 20th of November 2018 .

As a result, justice Mugambe ordered Makerere to compesate Dr.Nyanzi for denying her a right to a speed trial and justice.

Mugambe further issued summons to the Director of Human Resource at Makerere to be cross examined on the evidence he tendered in his sworn affidavit opposing Nyanzi’s application.

In October this year , Makerere University’s appeal tribunal lifted her suspension and directed that she be be re-instated with all salary arrears paid and promoted to the level of a Fellow Researcher with immediate effect.

However , Makerere University did not honor the directives causing Dr.Nyanzi to sue the university.

Nyanzi is currently on remand at Luzira government prison on fresh charges of posting obscene birthday poem on Facebook where she attacked president M7 and his late mother and she has also refused to seek bail despite the judge advising her to do so .

The case has now been adjourned to the 9th of January 2019 for hearing.

Stella Nyanzi further remanded as court hearing flops

By Sania Babirye

Hearing of a cyber harassment case against a Makerere University Researcher Dr. Stellah Nyanzi has flopped again at Buganda Road court.

Dr.Nyanzi had returned today in hopes of state commencing her trial, however this could not go on because the trial magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu was not around although prosecution had earlier informed court that investigations are still on going complete with witnesses ready to testfy against her.

Some of the politicians who came to show support to the Dr.Nyanzi included opposition party, FDC’s presidential candidate Kizza Besigye.

She has now further been remanded to Luzira prison by grade one magistrate Robert Mukanza until the 19th if this month when her trial judge will be present.

Dr.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.

Prosecution states that while armed with a motive to disturb the peace of President Museveni, Nyanzi posted obscene messages on her official face book page(Stellah Nyanzi) while attacking the privacy of the President .

Stella Nyanzi wants her case dismissed

Makerere university researcher, Stella Nyanzi has asked court to order the Director of Public Prosecution to try her  case or  have it dismissed.

This is after Prosecution  led by Jonathan Muwaganya today  informed  court that although the case had come up  for mention , they want to wait until the constitutional court pronounced itself on Dr.Nyanzi’s  Mental treatment act  application pending in the constitutional court because it has a large  bearing on the case trial.

However Dr.Nyanzi’s lawyer Peter Walubiri has told court that the mental treatment application which his client petitioned challenging state against examining her head has no bearing on the criminal case hearing unless state’s aim is only  to declare Dr.Nyanzi Mad but not try her over the alleged computer misuse charges.

Walubiri further says that the delay in prosecution is affecting his client’s  finances because she continues to appear in court while state keeps on asking for adjournments.

This has forced Buganda road court chief magistrate James Eremye Mawanda to order prosecution to consult the Director of Public Prosecution on when Dr.Nyanzi’s criminal case trial should begin.

The  case has been adjourned to the   21 of August 2017.

Prosecution States that between January and March 2017 at  Kampala district,  Nyanzi while having no legitimate purpose of communication posted on her Facebook page suggestions and proposals referring to his Excellency president Museveni  that he is a pair of buttocks.

If further alleged that Nyanzi  willfully and repeatedly using electronic communication posted offensive messages via Facebook with an intention of disturbing peace and the privacy of president Museveni.

State prosecutor demands cancellation of Stella Nyanzi’s bail

By Sania Babirye

State prosecutor Jonathan Muwaganya has asked Buganda road court to cancel the bail application of the 42 year old  Controversial Makerere university researcher Dr.Stella Nyanzi. He accuses her of breaching one of bail  conditions by attacking state prosecutor in the case via her Facebook page.

This morning Muwaganya  read a face book post that Dr. Nyanzi allegedly wrote on her Facebook page claiming that members of the bar wore unfitting Chinese coats.

Muwaganya states that any attack  on the  members of the bar is an attack on the trial court which needed immediate redress through cancelling Dr.Nyanzi’s  bail or setting more tough bail conditions.

Muwaganya says that state lawyers cannot proceed with the case under such situation where Dr.Nyanzi is continuously attacking them for doing their job.

Although court bared Dr.Nyanzi from writing or discussing any matter related to case as one of her bail conditions Dr. Nyanzi was angered on Wednesday after state prosecutor Jonathan Muwaganya told court that he was not officially served Dr.Nyanzi’s application in which she is seeking a stay of proceedings of the case until her constitution petition in which she is challenging the mental treatment act is heard and disposed.

Chief magistrate James Eremye Mawanda  has however reserved the ruling on the matter until he determines  the mental examination application.

Stella Nyanzi’s lawyers challenge demand for mental examination

By Babirye Sania

Makerere Researcher Dr. Stella Nyanzi charged with two counts of cyber harassment and offensive communication all related to computer misuse has taken her Mental examination battle to the constitutional court.

Dr.Stella Nyanzi has filed a constitutional petition against the attorney general challenging various sections of the mental treatment  act  as being unconstitutional.

Dr.Stella Nyanzi’s lawyers led by Peter Walubiri told Buganda road court chief magistrate James Eremye Mawanda this morning  that the1938 law is not  in line with the the Uganda constitutional enacted in 1995.

Walubiru says they are Challenging various sections of the mental treatment act that violates her rights to a fair trial, inhumane treatment, and to be accorded  administrative fairness.

Walubiri has also told court that they have followed up the constitution petition with  an application in Buganda road court  to stay the Inquiry under the mental treatment act seeking to determine if Dr.Stella Nyanzi  is of sound mind or not.

In this application they want magistrate Mawanda to determine if the proceedings under the mental treatment act should continue or be stayed while the law is being challenged in the constitutional court.

The magistrate has now set the 7th of June to hear the application for stay of proceedings.

Prosecution States that between January and March 2017 at  Kampala district,  Nyanzi while having no legitimate purpose of communication posted on her Facebook page suggestions and proposals referring to his Excellency president Museveni  that he is a pair of buttocks.

If further alleged that Nyanzi  willfully and repeatedly using electronic communication posted offensive messages via Facebook with an intention of disturbing peace and the privacy of president Museveni.

Education minister, Janet Museveni urges NGOs to involve ministry in pads distribution campaign

Education and Sports Minister, Janet Museveni has expressed reservations about Non-Governmental Organisations-NGOs spearheading the distribution of sanitary pads to school children without involving the ministry.

She was responding to suggestions by the Education Committee Chaired by Connie Nakayenze Galiwango, the Mbale Woman MP on the need for the Education Ministry to regulate the distribution of sanitary pads to school children.

The Committee members expressed concern that NGOs distributing the sanitary pads to children deal directly with school without involving the ministry. According to the Education minister, although not many NGOs are involved in the free sanitary pads distribution exercise, there is need for the ministry to be involved to ensure the pads are appropriate for children.

The Education Committee members including Allan Ssewanyana, the Makindye West MP, Moses Kasibante, Rubaga North and Joseph Ssewungu, Kalungu West demanded an explanation from the Education Minister why the provision of free sanitary pads to girls remains unfunded in the 2017/2018 financial year budget.

Ssewanyana asked the Minister to state the government position on the free sanitary pad distribution, saying it has generated public anxiety. Kasibante appealed to the Education Ministry not to discourage those involved in free sanitary pads distribution, since government has failed to honor its pledge.

In her response, the first lady noted that although she is aware of the importance of the sanitary pads to the girl child, many areas in the Education sector remain unfunded because of budgetary constraints.

The jailed Makerere University Research fellow, Dr. Stella Nyanzi kick started the free sanitary pad distribution to schools after government backtracked on its promise to provide pads to school children citing lack of money.

During his 2016 re-election campaigns, president, Yoweri Museveni pledged to provide free sanitary pads to school children as one of the ways to boost girl child education. The free sanitary pad distribution exercise was expected to start in the new financial year. However, the Education Ministry backtracked on the promise, saying there is no money.

This prompted Dr. Nyanzi to kick start a campaign under the theme “Pads-For-Girl-Child Uganda” to fundraise money to buy pads and distribute them to schools. The campaign attracted several people including women rights activists and NGOs, which saw the distribution of re-usable and disposable sanitary pads to various school girls.

 

 

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Stella Nyanzi sent back to jail

Makerere University Researcher Dr Stella Nyanzi has been sent back to Luzira by Buganda Road Magistrate Court pending an application for the revision of her case filed in the high court by her lawyers.

Lawyer Nicholas Opiyo asked for an adjournment of the case pending determination of their application seeking to block a planned psychiatric examination against Dr Stella Nyanzi. The mental examinations were sought by the state during Nyanzi’s maiden appearance before the magistrate’s court early this month.

Nyanzi is charged with two counts of cyber harassment and offensive communication contrary to provisions of the Computer Misuse Act. Nyanzi was also charged with using the internet to disturb the peace and right to privacy of the president.

Prosecution alleges that Stella Nyanzi used her social media pages to refer to President Yoweri Museveni as “a pair of buttocks.” She denied the charges but told court that she always writes ‘metaphorically’ to deliver messages to ‘those in power’.

In reference to her vulgar and erotic posts, prosecutor Jonathan Muwaganya filed an application on April 10, asking court to order that Nyanzi is subjected to a psychiatric examination. Muwaganya told court that Nyanzi has a history of erratic psychiatric disorder and was once a patient at Butabika Hospital. The application was based on the affidavit by SP Mboniva Emmanuel, one of the police officers investigating Nyanzi’s case.

But her lawyers rushed to the High Court to challenge the request saying that the state wants to use the mental test to declare Nyanzi an idiot and send her to a mental health facility. Lawyer Opiyo told court that the defense team hoped the high court application would be heard before today’s appearance. However, High Court has set tomorrow as the hearing date for the application.

Opiyo said that the state’s application was brought in bad faith and with utmost act of ambush to deny them an appropriate response. He said they need time to respond to all arguments raised by the state in its application for mental health examination. He also argued that the defense team received a copy of the application after arriving at the court.

Presiding Magistrate James Eremye said Nyanzi was sent back to Luzira on the request of her defense team.

Nyanzi had recently taken up a campaign code-named ‘Pads for Girls’ in which she castigated government for failing to fulfill its commitment to provide sanitary pads to all schoolgirls. The provision was part of President Yoweri Museveni’s campaign pledges ahead of the 2016 general election.

 

 

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Arresting Nyanzi serves no legitimate purpose -Amnesty International

Amnesty International has condemned the arrest and prosecution of Makerere University research fellow Dr Stella Nyanzi.

Dr Nyanzi was  on Monday, charged with offensive communication and cyber harassment in relation to her Facebook posts attacking the government. In one of posts, the basis of  charges, she called the president a “pair of buttocks”. She was remanded to Luzira prison for two weeks to allow her lawyers time to file a defence in regard to state prosecution’s application that her mental health be examined.

Dr Nyanzi denied the two charges which are contrary to sections 24 (1)(2)(a) and 25 of the Computer Misuse Act 2011.

Muthoni Wanyeki, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes region in a statement released today evening said government should drop all charges and unconditionally release Dr Nyanzi.

“Arresting (Dr Stella) Nyanzi simply for criticising the President and his wife serves no legitimate purpose. The state should stop wasting resources on pointless and politically-motivated prosecutions, immediately drop all charges against her and release her unconditionally,” she said. “The Authorities must also immediately revoke the Computer Misuse Act, and respect, protect, promote and fulfill the right to freedom of expression of all Ugandans.”

The controversial researcher has been using obscenity in her writing on her Facebook account criticizing President Museveni and her wife Janet Museveni for failure to provide sanitary pads to school going girls as promised during last year’s presidential campaigns. She was arrested on Friday evening from Mackinnon Suites Hotel in Nakasero after speaking at a Rotary Club event.

Muthoni noted that “lack of sanitary towels is one of the leading causes of girls dropping out of school in Uganda.” She argued that Dr Nyanzi has led a campaign to ensure girls continue to attend school with dignity during their periods but is being harassed, intimidated and arrested instead of commending her.

She noted that her prosecution violates Uganda’s obligations regarding the right to freedom of expression as enshrined in the Constitution and other regional as well as international human rights law.

 

 

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