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High Court recalls Stella Nyanzi file ahead of Tuesday court session

University lecturer and activist Doctor Stella Nyanzi (left) reacts in court as she attends a trial to face charges for cyber-harassment and offensives communication, in Kampala, on April 10, 2017.  Her lawyer Nicholas Opiyo is right. PHOTO AFP

High Court has recalled the Dr. Stella Nyanzi case file from the Buganda Road Chief Magistrates Court ahead of her appearance tomorrow, April 25, 2017. She faces charges of cyber harassment and offensive communication.

Makerere University Researcher Dr. Nyanzi is expected to be produced back in court Tuesday to respond to an application made by the state to have her head first checked at Butabika Referral Hospital.

The deputy registrar of the High Court Eleanor Khainza recalled the file after Nyanzi’s lawyer Isaac Kimaze Ssemakadde wrote asking her to revise the case.

In an April 11 letter to the High Court, Ssemakadde accused Buganda Road Court Chief Magistrate James Ereemye Mawanda, who is handling the case, of siding with the state to refuse to hear Nyanzi’s bail application after she had taken plea.

Mawanda refused to hear Nyanzi’s bail application April 10 after prosecutor Jonathan Muwaganya asked court to first ascertain Nyanzi’s sanity. Ssemakadde said Mawanda “erroneously and injudiciously” remanded his client to Luzira Prison.

The High Court has asked for the file to revise or examine records for the purpose of satisfying itself about the correctness and legality of the orders passed by the chief magistrate.

Nyanzi’s lawyer, Ssemakadde wants the High court to strike out the state’s purported application. In the application, Nyanzi’s sister Sheillah Nyanzi complains that when her sister appeared before Buganda Road Court on April 10, she was ambushed with an application for a mental examination.

Chief Magistrate James Ereemye

Buganda Road Court Resident State Attorney Muwanganya had informed court April 10, that no person of her stature can exhibit  such unusual conduct  unless she is not of sound mind.

Court had earlier heard that between January and March 2017 in Kampala, Nyanzi while having no legitimate purpose of communication posted on her facebook page suggestions  and proposals referring to the President of Uganda Yoweri Museveni  as a “pair of buttocks”.

Prosecution further alleges that Nyanzi willfully and repeatedly using electronic communication posted offensive messages  via Facebook with an intention of disturbing peace and the privacy of President Museveni.

However she has since denied the allegation but prosecution will inform court on the position of the investigations in this case, and she will also be free to exercise her right to apply for bail.

Defence lawyer Nicholas Opiyo had in an interview last week also stated his fear that her client might face other charges.

Chief Magistrate Mawanda will preside over the matter.

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