Dr Stella Nyanzi pays the price of Stella Nyanzi - Denis Nyombi - Whisper Eye

Dr Stella Nyanzi pays the price of Stella Nyanzi – Denis Nyombi

They are two different persons. However, it’s literally hard to distinguish them especially if you have not come closer to one of the two.

STELLA NYANZI the feminist rights activist who practices what is called Radical Rudeness- a style termed in the 1940 journal of social History Vol. 39 No.3, 2006 pge 741-770, to put her discontent with the prevalent political status quo, across.

On the other hand, is Dr. STELLA NYANZI, a Ugandan Medical anthropologist and a scholar of sexuality, family planning and public health. A holder of a Bachelor of Arts in Mass communication and literature from MUK, and a holder of a PHD in social anthropology from London School of Hygiene and Tropical medicine.

Thought her trial, the former was placed in the dock, for writing and posting on her Facebook page, a metaphoric piece that was seen to offend the person of the president and her late mother.
The writing cost her two counts Offensive communicate and cyber harassment, in October 2018.

STELLA NYANZI rumbled and tumbled through nine months of a notorious court battle that saw highs and lows that will go down in our legal history .
For starters most people who appear before courts of law, upon reading a charge against them, without putting any minute to waste, they move in to make their bail application , without a doubt, lining up a parade of surgeries.

STELLA NYANZI forfeited her right to make a bail application despite several chances and advise from friends, colleagues and all people in the opposition fraternity who stood by her and some who had faced trials before.

Her sole argument was that she was safer in Luzira and had more work to do by sensitizing women inside the prison.

Her trial was more a political battle than a legal show case. She indeed confirmed this in her mitigation, upon convicting her for Cyber harassment, when she told court, she came for a political battle not a legal battle and by far she has won. By poising her lethal sexual diction, to the head of state, it was a broad day declaration of the clash of the Titans.

Stella Nyanzi protests at the Magistrate 

Most news agencies reported on her arrest and trial as glaringly political. The Washington Post, reported that her arrest was for being an outspoken anti Museveni activist. Al jezeera English, reported that her arrest was due to Museveni’s plan to rule for life.

Back in court, her trial went without a complainant, to verify if at all, the words in the post in issue, which words she did not disown right from the day she took plea, when she said it’s true she wrote the words but it’s not true that she is guilty as charged.

She pointed it to court that she was disappointed that the prosecution didn’t discharge it’s duty to prove the count of offensive communication, against Museveni Kaguta, as she emphatically with no mistake of remorse, put it to court, in a dramatic demeanor that no magistrate has ever witnessed in Uganda as yet. Never the less, with no complainant, she was acquitted on that count.

Her judgement comes a few weeks after a city pastor Mr. Kabuleta Joseph, was arrested over the same claim under S.25 of The Computer Misuse Act.
The author of this article in the wake of Kabuleta’s arrest, challenged the police, while appearing on NBS’S morning breeze, that without a complainant’s statement or testimony, it becomes hard to prove that the words complained of, offended that said complainant. This met light of day when court found that stella Nyanzi was not guilty of the said offence.

By this finding, the working of S.25 of the Computer Misuse Act, was rendered wanting. It’s clear that several people under going trial under this section share the same thing in common , there’s no complainant.
The trial went without a defence witness. It’s this part of the trial that woke up most observers especially when court closed Stella’s case and readied her for judgement.

Her resilient team , headed by Isaac Kimeze Semakadde, named the most outstanding public interest litigation lawyer in Uganda by the Uganda law Society-2018, filed an application before the High Court demanding it to look at the decision of the Buganda road court, rendering it glaringly erroneous in the face of the law.

Isaac stood by Stella every step on the way. Until the day of the High Court Ruling. In His interview with NTV, he said, his client instructed him not to appear again in court, since it all seemed injustice at work and or play.
It’s this account why when her judgement was read, Isaac was not in court.
It’s a trial that met well with battled defence attorney.

The meeting of Isaac and his client, stretches way back, while Dr. Stella Nyanzi was still at MUK, several students often had complaints that ended in court against the university. They ran to Isaac who had set himself as a public interest attorney, under his bombo Rd. based Centre For Legal Aid, to handle their matters. When friction started with between Dr. Stella Nyanzi and the University, she was introduced to him, by her students that he always defended.
It should be recalled, that in 2009, Dr. Stella Nyanzi began at MUK as a researcher at the Gender and Sexuality research project, as a member of the faculty of law where she worked as a research fellow at the Makerere institute of social Research until 2016. While there she was asked to lecture in the new PHD programme called The Mamdani PHD project, but she declined. Her office was closed. She staged a nude protest against her boss, a Herbert Lehman Prof, Prof. Mahmood Mamdani . Who expressed his discomfort. Refer to the interview he held with NBS’S Simon Kaggwa Njala.
Since then Stella started falling out and stepped to activism, choosing language as her style and tool of pointing at the power.

Dr. STELLA Nyanzi, as I pointed out at the start of this write up, is distinct from Stella Nyanzi. The sex language is part of the study and work, Dr. Stella Nyanzi does as a scholar of gender , sex and a medical anthropologist. Who has delt with this subject in Uganda , Gambia, UK and other countries.
Stella Nyanzi, borrows part of Dr. STELLA NYANZI’S area of profession, merges it with literature another part of her study as a mass communication scholar, to out a brand of an activist unseen in what society will deem her – an immoral person .
She took ample time doing research with city prostitutes to find out how they gather the courage and confidence of using certain words, rendered to obscene boldly in public, words that she was latter to use in her fashion of activism.

Her monopoly of temperament met heads on with a non nonsense grade one magistrate, whose decision has not left her without notoriety, in the judicial system, as she nearly lost her eye. When a court attendant in rage, through a bottle to her face .

Society may have a diverse angle of who she is . Be that as is, Dr. STELLA NYANZI has branded Stella Nyanzi, as an icon amongst her followers and other activists she is the most followed social media female personality in Uganda, with her numbers increasing day by day.

Her case leaves quite an avalanche of discussion points to the judicially. Hopefully most will be made better.

Denis Nyombi