Dr. Stella Nyanzi

The Buganda Road Magistrates Court on Friday sentenced the controversial Makerere University researcher, Dr. Stella Nyanzi to 18 months in prison after her being convicted on harassment charges that were brought against her in November last year.

When she appeared in court yesterday, Buganda Road Magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu found her guilty of charges of cyber harassment and acquitted her of offensive Communication charges.

“Facebook post corrupts the minds of young generation and that it doesn’t in anyway communicate any message. It is vulgar. It was offensive,” judge Kamasanyu said in her ruling.

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In the afternoon, Stella appeared before Court via video link and she was sentenced to 18 months in prison. However during the sentencing, the academic-activist stripped in protest for 18 months sentence she has to serve in the coolers. She will however serve nine months.

Nyanzi who has been on remands for nine months, was arrested in November last on accusations of insulting President Museveni and his mother, the late Esteri Kokundeka through a vulgar Facebook post.

In December last year, court presided over by Ms Kamasanyu, remanded Nyanzi to Luzira prison until January 10, 2019 after she objected to the charges of alleged cyber harassment on grounds that they are defective and cannot stand.

Nyanzi once in court turned down court’s offer of releasing her on bail. Still claimed that the president should go to court and testify on how she insulted him and his mother.

Her case has since faced a number of adjournment on issues of the absence of Magistrate Kamasanyu. In December, she adjourned the matter was to give the state time to respond after they claimed they had been ambushed by the defence lawyer Isaac Ssemakadde who had filed to court asking that the case be dismissed for duplication among others.

She later ran to High Court seeking for an order to be retried on the same matter saying the sitting magistrate had been biased and didn’t accord her a fair hearing.

In her ruling High Court Judge Jane Francis Abodo dismissed the petition in which Nyanzi wanted court to block lower court (Buganda Road Magistrate’s Court) from delivering its judgement on the matter before it.


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