Dr. Stella Nyanzi

The former Makerere University researcher, Dr Stella Nyanzi has submitted in her nomination papers at the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) headquarters amid cheers.

The controversial researcher is vying to unseat Nabilah Naggayi Sempala, the incumbent Member of Parliament representing the Kampala Women Parliamentary Constituency in the 10th parliament.

Dr Nyanzi rose to fame in 2016 after making a nude protest against her boss, Prof Mahmood Mamdani who had asked her to lecture in the new PhD programme, dubbed the Mamdani PHD Project.

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The scholar has been publishing stinging articles criticising president Museveni’s leadership and the first lady who double as the minister of education and sports Janet Kataha Museveni.

After her arrest in 2017, she was suspended from Makerere University. She appealed the decision with Makerere University’s appeal tribunal, which directed that she be reinstated, promoted to the level of a research fellow with immediate effect, and paid back wages.

The university declined to abide by its tribunal’s decision and therefore she filed a lawsuit against the university requesting reinstatement and back wages. In response, in December 2018, the university dismissed her, along with 45 other academics, arguing that her contract expired.

In December 2018, the court presided over by Ms Kamasanyu, remanded Nyanzi to Luzira prison after she objected to the charges of alleged cyber harassment on grounds that they are defective and cannot stand. She was accused of insulting President Museveni and his mother, the late Esteri Kokundeka through a vulgar Facebook post.

In August last year, the Buganda Road Magistrates Court convicted her of cyber harassment and acquitted her of charges of offensive Communication. She was subsequently sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Feminist however appealed against lower court’s decision. After serving 14 months in prison, the International Crimes Division of the High Court quashed 18months imprisonment that was handed to her.