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Uganda Government Moves to Commit Academic Scholar Stella Nyanzi To a Mental Hospital

Stella Nyanzi At Buganda Road Court

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The Government of Uganda is said to be fighting tooth and nail to get former Makerere University research fellow Dr Stella Nyanzi to a mental hospital.

Uganda’s top prosecutor sought this week to crack down further on dissent, trying to use a colonial-era law, once used by the British to quash African resistance, to commit a prominent critic of the president to a mental institution.

It was only the second time in recent memory that the law, the Mental Treatment Act of 1938, was invoked in a case over free speech, according to lawyers. The first involved a student who was forcibly taken several times to a psychiatric hospital after lampooning the president on social media.

In addition to the charges “cyber harassment” and “offensive communication” after a series of Facebook posts this year, particularly one in which she described Mr. Museveni as a “pair of buttocks.” State Attorney Jonathan Muwaganya, a lawyer educated in the United States, submitted an application to commit Ms Nyanzi to a psychiatric hospital for two weeks so that doctors could “determine” her mental health.

Nyanzi’s troubles started when she attacked First lady Kataha Museveni who also doubles as the Minister of Education as someone with tiny brain and out touch with reality person after she said told Parliament that her Ministry didn’t have money for sanitary towels her Husband Museveni had promised to give to girl from poor homes so as to curb poor school attendance. Though Mrs. Museveni came out and said that she had forgiven Nyanzi Many observers dismissed that claim and said she was just turning into a tiger wearing sheep’s skin.

The above observation came to pass when Nyazi was arrested on Friday 7th April in Kampala after addressing the Rotaly Club on providing sanitary pad to poor girls, a project she had taken on after government announced it would not be doing providing the towels as earlier promised during the presidential campaigns.

Dr Nyanzi, who was on, April 10, 2017 Monday morning driven from Kira Divisional Police Headquarters where she has been in custody since her arrest, to Buganda Road Magistrate’s Court in a convoy of security cars was charged in relation to the alleged offensive Facebook posts she made about President Museveni specifically.

She was charged with two counts including cyber harassment contrary to section 24 (1)(2)(a) of the Computer misuse Act 2011 and offensive communication contrary to section 25 of the Computer Misuse Act 2011.

 

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