Buganda Road Court Grade One magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu has stayed the hearing of the offensive communication case in which the state accuses social media activist Swaibu Nsamba Gwogyolonga of defaming President Yoweri Museveni.
Appearing before Court, Prosecution alleged that between September 8 and October 26, in an unknown location Nsamba posted offensive communication on Facebook with intent to ‘disturb the peace of the President’. Prosecution further alleges that Nsamba defamed the person of the President in the same Facebook post.
Nsamba was arrested on December 19, 2016 and remanded to Luzira prison on charges of offensive communication and libel contrary to section 25 of the Computer Misuse Act, 2002 and section 179 of the Penal Code Act, respectively.
Non-government organization Unwanted Witness secured Nsamba’s bail on January 3, 2017 and he has since been appearing in court for hearing.
However, on April 20 this year Nsamba, Unwanted Witness Uganda and Human Rights Enforcement Foundation through Rwakafuuzi and Company Advocates, petitioned the constitutional court challenging the constitutionality of section 25 (offensive communication) and its failure to meet regional and international human rights norms and standards.
And in today’s ruling, the Buganda Road Court magistrate said she would not proceed with the hearing until the Constitutional Court pronounces itself on the matter.
However, Nsamba has been asked to continue reporting to court for mentioning of the case and updating court about the progress of the constitutional petition.