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Dr Stella Nyanzi released on bail

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Dr Stella Nyanzi, a former Makerere University researcher has been charged for being a common nuisance.

Nyanzi was arrested at Nakasero market within Kampala city on Wednesday alongside businessmen Godfrey Katongole and Isaac Newton for allegedly behaving in a manner that was likely to inconvenience other people and disregarding guidelines put in place to control the spread of COVID-19.

By the time of their arrest, they were holding a demonstration with placards that had inscriptions calling for the lifting of the COVID-19 lockdown and asking the authorities to desist from using the COVID-19 outbreak to violate human rights.

The demonstration was partly to mobilise arcade owners to protest the continuous lockdown on their businesses. Nyanzi said it was unfair for the government to maintain a closure of arcades when other businesses are operating normally.

Yesterday, the three appeared before the Buganda Road Grade one Magistrate Joan Acaa Ketty. They denied the charges and applied for bail on grounds that the offences against them are bailable. Their lawyers led by Geoffrey Turyamusiima told the court that one of the accused persons Dr Nyanzi is sick and needs to get medication. The lawyer also told the court that each of the accused persons has the two substantial sureties and qualify for bail.

Nyanzi, the prime suspect presented James Mubiru contestant for the Rubaga North Parliamentary seat and a friend Umar Mukosa as her sureties. The magistrate granted them a cash bail of 200,000 Shillings each.

Nyanzi was released from Luzira prison early this year after High Court quashed an 18-month sentence that was handed to her for insulting the president. She had been found guilty of cyber harassment of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.

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