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BAIL: Dr Stella Nyanzi wanted in court today

The High Court in Kampala has ordered Luzira Prison authorities to produce Makerere University researcher Dr. Stella Nyanzi, accused of cyber harassment, for a review on her bail application. Justice Elizabeth Kabanda is set to preside over this matter.

Deputy Registrar incharge of criminal matters Emmanuel Baguma issued the production warrant to Luzira Prison’s Women Wing Tuesday.

This follows a letter Dr. Nyanzi wrote to the High Court yesterday through her lawyers, challenging the manner in which she was sent on remand on April 10 by Buganda Road Court Chief magistrate James Eremye Mawanda. He did not entertain her application for bail.

The magistrate in his ruling promised to only hear Dr.Nyanzi’s bail application after determining prosecution’s request to have her mental status ascertained.

Nyanzi is alleged to have tampered with the peace and privacy of Uganda President Yoweri Museveni between January and March this year, when she willfully and repeatedly used electronic communication to post offensive messages via Facebook.

She faces two counts of Cyber Harassment and Offensive Communication contrary to the Computer Misuse Act 2011.

This new development related to bail comes hours after Tuesday’s appearance in court by Dr Nyanzi, where hearing of the case against her was postponed to May 10.

The cyber harassment case had been adjourned Tuesday to May 10 to await the out come of a request she made in the High Court seeking a review of the no-bail-yet orders of trial magistrate Mawanda.

Dr. Stella Nyanzi was present on Tuesday in a court that was fully parked with activists, including former Uganda presidential candidate Dr.Kiiza Besigye.

Nyanzi’s lawyers Nicholas Opiyo and Eron Kiiza raised concerns against prison authourities denying Nyanzi access her literature including books, handwritten notes and even a Bible, on top of refusing her lawyers to have private client conversation.

But Prosecution’s Jonathan Muwaganya informed court that he had no instructions to respond and there was no way court could make a blanket order against the prison authorities.

Its against this background that  magistrate Eremye ruled that he could not pass judgement against prison authorities “who are competent enough to respect human rights”, saying the fact Nyanzi’s lawyers already made a complaint to them, they should wait feedback from them.

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