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Stella Nyanzi: Children denied access to mother

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Today marks the 12th day Makerere University researcher Dr Stella Nyanzi is in detention for allegedly calling President Yoweri Museveni a ‘pair of buttocks’.

A convoy of vehicles carrying people who wanted to see Dr. Stella Nyanzi

But ever since Nyanzi’s arrest, none of her three children has seen her because as the long-awaited day to visit her came, they were blocked by prison officials.

Indeed, daughter, Baraka, 11, and her twin brothers Wasswa and Kato accompanied by relatives and activists went to Luzira prison Wednesday morning to visit Dr.Nyanzi as early as 8am but they were stopped.

“We are blocked together with Dr. Stella Nyanzi’s children! The prison warders say they are waiting for orders from above before they let us in! All the other visitors are being allowed in; save for those who have come to see Nyanzi!” Makerere University LC 5 Woman Councillor, Doreen Nyanjura wrote on social media early morning.

And by 1pm, they still hadn’t been let in.

“Still Blocked! We are over 30 people, we have all come to see Dr Stella Nyanzi, we have been at the first entrance of Luzira Women’s gate since 9;00am! Stella Nyanzi doesn’t have a right to receive visitors; not even her children! Who is this ‘above’ that stops children who haven’t seen their mother in over a fort night from accessing her? What has this nation come to? Wednesday is an open day for visitation for all prisoners in Luzira, why can’t Stella see her people?”

By press time it was not possible to get comment from the Prisons spokesperson Frank Baine.

Nyanzi was arrested about two weeks back as she left MacKinnon Suites where she had been addressing a workshop organized by Rotary Uganda.

Two charges were brought against her, with the first count being that ‘Dr Nyanzi on January 28, 2017 at Kampala District or thereabout used a computer to post on her Facbook page ‘Stella Nyanzi’ wherein she made a suggestion or proposal referring to His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni as among others ‘a pair of buttocks’ which suggestion/ proposal is obscene or indecent’.

In the second count, prosecution states that Dr Nyanzi ‘between January 2017 and march 2017 in Kampala district wilfully and repeatedly used electronic communication to post messages offensive in nature via Facebook, transmitted over the internet to disturb or attempted to disturb the peace, quiet or right of privacy of His Excellency the President of Uganda, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni with no purpose of legitimate communication’.

She denied both charges.

Magistrate James Ereemye remanded her to Luzira prison until April 25 when her bail application is expected to be heard.

 

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