Court rules Stella Nyanzi has case to answer

Stella Nyanzi in court. Photo: @Atulinda_Allan

Stella Nyanzi in court. Photo: @Atulinda_Allan

Buganda Road Magistrate's court has ruled that Makerere University researcher Dr Stella Nyanzi has a case to answer in relation to offences of cyber harassment and offensive communication.

Nyanzi is accused of posting a loutish birthday poem on her Facebook page attacking the late Esteri Kokundeka, the mother of President Yoweri Museveni.

Buganda Road Grade One magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu ordered Nyanzi to start preparing her defence arguing that prosecution through their three witnesses have been able to prove the ingredients of the charges against her. 

The witnesses included detective Bill Ndyamuhaki attached to the police cyber crimes, Charles Dalton Opwonya, a member of Pornographic Control Committee and Harriet Kenyana a detective attached to media crimes also in police. 

Kamasanyu noted that she has several times read the original Facebook post by Nyanzi and analysed the evidence brought to her and she has been convinced that Nyanzi has a case to answer. 

The evidence included activation codes used to create Nyanzi’s Facebook account, the documents showing the number that activated the Facebook account, a photocopy of the passport Nyanzi reportedly used to apply for the phone number from MTN Uganda which was later used to create the Facebook page among others. 

Kamasanyu has now directed Nyanzi to start her defence next week on June 26. Nyanzi’s lawyers Derrick Bazekuketta and Isaac Semakadde told court that their client intends to bring five to seven witnesses who will defend her. Nyanzi was arrested last year and has since refused to apply for bail. 

© 2016 Observer Media Ltd