Makerere University researcher, Dr Stella Nyanzi has today been charged with cyber harassment and offensive communication in Buganda Road court in breach of the Computer Misuse Act 2011.
According to the charge sheet dated March 23, 2017, Nyanzi is particularly charged with referring to President Museveni, among other things a “pair of buttocks” in a Facebook post on January 28.
A defiant Nyanzi denied both charges of offensive communication communication and cyber harassment. She has been remanded to Luzira prison until April 25.
Nyanzi was arrested on Friday evening moments after addressing a symposium on Menstruation, Girl Education, and Development, organized by Kampala Metropolitan Rotary Club held at MacKinnon Suites hotel. She has since been in detention at Kira division police station.
Resident state attorney Jonathan Muwaganya told court presided over by Buganda Road Chief Magistrate Eremye Mawanda that Nyanzi was arrested because she refused to respond to earlier police summons.
“Ugandans have been offended by this regime for so many years. Who is offending the other?…How much offense has Yoweri Museveni caused this nation? Offensive communication? Who is the offended here, your honor?”, Nyanzi said in response to the charges.
Adding: "He [Museveni] makes promises of sanitary pads to girls…he reneges on a promise. He is supposed to be a fountain of honour."
"I have called his excellency an 'impotent' man. I have called his excellency a number of metaphors including a ‘pair of buttocks’. I have written a lot on my Facebook posts. All my writings as far as am concerned do not tantamount to cyber harassment your honour. Yes am a writer who uses language metaphorically. Is this cyber harassment your honour? I don’t think so. And thus, I plead not guilty", Nyazi said.
The state applied to court to have Nyanzi's state of mind checked, arguing that she has a history eruptive psychiatric disorder and that she has been in Butabika national referral mental hospital before.