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Stella Nyanzi's 19 witnesses fail to appear in court

Dr Stella Nyanzi

Dr Stella Nyanzi

The 19 witnesses summoned to defend Makerere University researcher Dr Stella Nyanzi have failed to appear in court. 

The witnesses were supposed to appear on Wednesday to give their expert opinion in the case in which Nyanzi is charged for offensive communication and cyber harassment when she allegedly published a poem dedicated to President Museveni's mother Esteri Kokundeka. The was allegedly laced with vulgarities and insulted the peace and integrity of the president.  

The witnesses that had been lined up by the defence included; Prof Sylvia Tamale, Dr Susan Kiguli, Criminal Investigations director Grace Akullo, Dr Ronald Kakungulu Mayambala, Eng Frank Kitumba, Dr Sylvester Kahyana, Dr James Ociti, Dr Susan Kiguli, and Prof Abas Kiyimba the coordinator of gender, law and sexuality at Makerere University. 

The others are; Prof Fredrick Jjuuko, Allan Tacca, Solome Nakaweesi, Bishop Zac David Niringiye, Father Gaetano Batanyenda, Barnabas Mustapha Mugisa and Mildred Apenyo, a daughter to prosecution witness Charles Dalton Opwonya. On Tuesday, Barnabas Mustapha Mugisa, one of the 19 witnesses appeared in court but refused to testify on grounds that he was not aware of the reasons he was summoned.

Nyanzi’s lawyers Isaac Semakadde and Derrick Bazekuketta told court yesterday that they were not certain if the witnesses would appear.

They requested for a meeting with the trial magistrate, Gladys Kamasanyu and state prosecutors Timothy Amerit and Janet Kitimbo. Kamasanyu granted the defence’s request for a meeting and adjourned the proceedings for an hour.

And when court resumed, the lawyers asked court to issue arrest warrants to the witnesses for contempt of court. Bazekuketa further observed that Akullo and Mayambala were served with the summons to appear on Wednesday. 

However, Kamasanyu rejected defence’s request to issue arrest warrants to the witnesses, observing that there was no justification by the defence team. She argued that the lawyers did not present evidence to show any attempts made to serve summons to the witnesses or witnesses acknowledging recipient of the summons.

Kamasanyu adjourned court to today July 11 for the final proceedings of the case. 


0 #11 Zulu 2019-07-13 16:09
If anyone were to insult the mothers of the people on this platform particularly of Lakwena, Akot, Alum etc. you would not be posting that kind of stuff and defence.

Your hatred for M7, which is obvious from the trend of all your previous postings, should not obscure your ability to discern evil from good.

For Nyanzi, a highly educated woman and a mother to insult someone’s mother is intolerable, indefensible and uncalled for.

There are several ways and avenues, which Ms Nyanzi could use to express her dissatisfaction or frustration with the president other than abusing his mother.

I love my dear mother and can never accept anyone insulting her; in fact, if I were M7 I would have done the same to defend the great woman that gave birth and raised me up.

I am sure Kokundeka would have turned in her grave if M7 had just looked on under such unwarranted provocation.
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0 #12 Zulu 2019-07-13 16:10
No reasonable person will turn up in court to defend the indefensible, so Mr. Ssemakadde and Company, just buy more time trying to do the unprecedented things in law while lining your bank accounts at the expenses of Stella.

As for Stella, vulgarity is not communication, so please bear the consequence; ’if someone is old enough to commit a crime, s/he is old enough to serve the sentence’, so goes the saying. Good Luck
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0 #13 RUGA JAMES 2019-07-14 17:20
Where is this poem so that we may read and give justified comments?
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