Drama as Dr Stella Nyanzi is charged, remanded to Luzira for disturbing Museveni’s peace

Kenneth Kazibwe

Kenneth Kazibwe

, Featured, News

There was drama at Buganda Road court on Wednesday afternoon as Makerere University researcher Dr.Stella Nyanzi turned hostile inside the courtroom.

Nyanzi was arrested last week over a Facebook post she made in regards to President Museveni and his late mother, Esteri Kokundeka.

On Wednesday when she was ushered into the dock, Nyanzi demanded that the court clerk reads the charges against her in Luganda, her mother tongue and repeatedly kept on reminding him to mention the exact words she had used to refer to certain body parts in her Facebook post.

But her demands were futile because the charges were read in English, the formal language for courts of law.

She was later charged with two counts of cyber harassment and offensive communication in which prosecution alleged that with an intention to disturb the peace of President Museveni, she posted obscene messages on her official face book page while attacking the privacy of the President and that of his late mother, Esteri Kokundeka.

Prosecution states that Nyanzi committed the offences on September 16 through a disguised birthday message she allegedly sent to the president.

She was however not allowed to plead to the charges because the grade one magistrate Esther Nahirya who was present in court had no powers to hear them.

Nyanzi was remanded to Luzira prison until Friday when she will be returned to court before the trial magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu to allow her take plea.

The motor-mouthed activist was arrested on Friday at Wandegeya police station where she had gone to seek for permission to organise a peaceful demonstration against Makerere University for refusal to reinstate her as a research fellow at the Makerere Institute of Social Research.

This is the second time Nyanzi is arrested and charged with cyber harassment and offensive communication for abusing President Museveni and his family.

In April, 2017, Nyanzi was arrested and charged for attacking the First Lady and Education minister Janet Museveni on Facebook over what she termed as incompetence in running the ministry.

She was charged with two counts of cyber harassment contrary to section 24(1)(2)(a) of the Computer Misuse Act 2011 and offensive communication contrary to section 25 of the Computer Misuse Act 2011 and she is still battling with the charges in court.

Any person who uses electronic communication to disturb or attempts to disturb the peace, quiet or right of privacy of any person with no purpose of legitimate communication is liable to a fine not exceeding 24 currency points or imprisonment not exceeding one year or both on conviction.

Twenty four currency points is equivalent to shs480,000.

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