Dr Stella Nyanzi to appear in court today

Dr Stella Nyanzi addresses journalists recently. Photo by Alex Esagala

What you need to know:

  • Using sexual innuendos, Dr Nyanzi has for the past two weeks been posting strongly worded messages on her Facebook Wall criticizing government policies. Her main target has been Education Minister Janet Museveni, who was on March 30 forced to break the silence and react to Nyanzi's attacks.
  • Section 25 of the Computer Misuse Act, 2011provides for a one-year prison sentence or a fine not exceeding Shs480,000 or both, for offensive communication.

Makerere University research fellow

Dr Nyanzi arrested over offensive communication

KAMPALA- Police have  confirmed the arrest of Makerere University research fellow Dr Stella Nyanzi, who was picked from Mackinnon Suites Hotel in Nakasero where she was hosting a fundraising drive to raise money for sanitary pads for school girls.

Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson, Emilian Kayima, confirmed the arrest of Dr Nyanzi who has of recent gained popularity for using social media to criticise the regime especially Education Minister and First Lady Janet Museveni for failing to provide sanitary wear for school girls.

Mr Kayima who did not specify where the academician was being held said she had been arrested over two counts of cyber harassment contrary to Section 24 of the Computer Misuse Act of 2011 and Offensive Communication Section 25 of the same law.

“She is in our police facilities, period. Ask no more questions please. You have it all,” Mr Kayima said.

A source said Dr Nyanzi was picked by plain clothed security operatives who were waiting for her outside the hotel at about 8:30 pm

Some sources indicated that Dr Nyanzi was whisked to Jinja Road Police Station something Mr Kayima could not deny nor confirm.

“I have told you she in our cells and I think that is all you wanted,” Mr Kayima said.

In her various posts on her Facebook page, Dr Nyanzi attacked Ms Museveni, using vulgar language for urging parents not to transport children on commuter motorbikes to school.

 She also accused the First Lady of defending the government that it not have money to provide free sanitary towels for schools girls; a promise that was made by her husband President Yoweri Museveni during the 2016 presidential campaigns.

Last week, Ms Museveni in an interview with NTV said she had forgiven her since she was not aware of the source of her anger.

Barely a day after the First Lady’s public expression of forgiveness, Dr Nyanzi again took to social media and used sexual metaphors to reject the clemency.

 Mr Kayima could not reveal who Dr Nyanzi’s complainant was given the fact that her person she has been attacking had forgiven her.

He, however, said the researcher was arrested over earlier charges when she was summoned at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations Department headquarters in Kibuli last month.

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at Mackinnon Suites Hotel in Nakasero on Friday, is expected to appear in court today.
Dr Nyanzi, who’s currently being detained at being detained at Kira Divisional police headquarters is to appear in court over computer misuse offences, according to Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson, Emilian Kayima.
She was arrested shortly after hosting a fundraising drive to raise money for sanitary pads for school girls.
Mr Kayima said she will be charged with two counts of cyber harassment contrary to Section 24 of the Computer Misuse Act of 2011 and Offensive Communication Section 25 of the same law.

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Using sexual innuendos, Dr Nyanzi has for the past two weeks been posting strongly worded messages on her Facebook Wall criticizing government policies. Her main target has been Education Minister Janet Museveni, who was on March 30 forced to break the silence and react to Nyanzi's attacks. In an interview with NTV, the First Lady said she had forgiven the social media critic.
"I have received reports about Dr Stella Nyanzi insulting me. I want to tell Ugandans that I forgive her," she said.
Dr Nyanzi hit back saying that instead of offering to forgive her, the minister should fix the problems the government she serves, headed by her husband, has failed to address.
Section 24(1) of the Computer Misuse Act, 2011 provides for a fine of up to 1.4 million shillings or a three-year imprisonment, or both, for any any person who commits cyber harassment.

The section defines cyber harassment as the use of a computer for purposes of making any request, suggestion or proposal which is obscene, lewd, lascivious or indecent; threatening to inflict injury or physical harm to the person or property of any person; or knowingly permit any electronic communications device to be used for any of the purposes mentioned in this section.
Section 25 provides for a one-year prison sentence or a fine not exceeding Shs480,000 or both, for offensive communication.
It states: "Any person who willfully and repeatedly uses electronic communication to disturb or attempts to disturb the peace, quiet or right of privacy of any person with no purpose of legitimate communication whether or not a conversation ensues commits a misdemeanor and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding twenty four currency points or imprisonment not exceeding one year or both."

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