Stella Nyanzi asks court to summon Museveni, 19 others

Wednesday June 26 2019

Suspended Makerere University researcher Dr

Suspended Makerere University researcher Dr Stella Nyanzi in the dock at Buganda road court on June 26, 2019. PHOTO BY ABUBAKER LUBOWA  

By BETTY NDAGIRE

KAMPALA- Suspended Makerere University research fellow Stella Nyanzi, Wednesday asked court to summon President Museveni as one of the witnesses that need to be examined for her defence, in the case she is accused of harassing the President and allegedly insulting his late mother.

Ms Nyanzi through her lawyer, Mr Isaac Ssemakadde, said the reason for summoning Mr Museveni is that there is material evidence for the most part of an expert nature to be given by him in her case.
So he needs witness summons for him to formerly apply for leave of absence from his duty station.
According to Article 98(4) of the Constitution of Uganda, the president shall not be liable to any proceedings in any court while still in office.

“The first witness I need to be summoned is his Excellency the President of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the allegedly the son of Esteri and clearly on the face the charge sheet and in the evidence so far received, the complaint in the matter,” Mr Ssemakadde submitted.
“…defence is at liberty to call upon any witness that would have been called by the prosecution and left out,” he said.

The research fellow will also desire that 19 other people be summoned to appear as defence witnesses to ensure her acquittal.
Other witnesses include; Ms Grace Akullo the Police Criminal Investigations Director, Prof Ronald Kakungulu Mayambala of Makerere University (Mak) School of law, Eng Frank Kitumba the head of Directorate ICT Support at Mak, Mr Mustapha B. Mugisa a member of the Institute of Forensics and ICT Security, Dr Dason Sylvester Kahyan and Dr James Ocita both in the Department of Literature at Makerere.

Others are Dr Suzan Kiguli a distinguished African poet, Prof Abasi Kiyimba, Prof Sylvia Tamale Coordinator of the Gender Law and Research Project at Mak, Prof Fredrick Jjuuko a distinguished Scholar in Media Law and Political Studies, Mr Allan Tacca a columnist in the Daily Monitor,Ms Mildred Apenyo, Omumbejja Salome Nakaweesi from Buganda, Bishop Zac Niringiye and Rev Fr Gaetano Batanyenda among others they will brief court later.

Mr Ssemakadde further told court that as defence, they cannot reveal the entire strategy their client intends to use in her defence.
He said that at this stage of the trial, his client has a right to choose to remain silent and her reaction will depend of how sufficient the defence witnesses testify.

He added that the framers of the law were alive to the fact that at a certain stage of the trial, an accused may change her mind.
In reply, State prosecutor, Mr Timothy Amerit argued that if Dr Nyanzi declines to brief court on how she will defend herself instead of choosing from three available options of either remaining silent, giving unsworn testimony or choosing to give sworn testimonies, which will require the prosecution to cross-examine her, evokes state of its duties.
Mr Amerit said it is miscarriage of justice for defence to leave court in suspense.
The trail magistrate at Buganda Road Court, Ms Gladys Kamasanyu adjourned the matter to July 1, for a ruling.

The chrages

Prosecution contends that on September 16, 2018, Dr Nyanzi posted on her Facebook page suggestions deemed obscene against the President’s deceased mother.
It is stated that she also repeatedly posted messages to disturb or attempted to disturb the peace, quiet or right to privacy of the President. This is the second time police are accusing Dr Nyanzi of allegations of abusing President Museveni and his family.
bndagire@ug.nationmedia.com

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