Uganda: Nyanzi Still in Police Detention Four Days After Arrest for Insulting Museveni's Mother

Ugandan MP Bobi Wine and Activist Stella Nyanzi.
6 November 2018

Police are still holding Makerere University research fellow, Dr Stella Nyanzi four days after her arrest on accusations of harassing President Museveni when she allegedly insulted his late mother.

Dr Nyanzi was arrested at Makerere University on Friday and she has been kept at Kiira Road Division Police Station in Wakiso District beyond the mandatory 48 hours the Constitution allows to hold a suspect in a police detention.

The CID spokesperson, Superintendent of Police Vincent Ssekatte said investigations are still ongoing, but declined to comment on why they are still holding her.

"Detectives are finalising their investigations. The file is on its way to the Resident State Attorney for perusal and advice," SP Ssekatte said.

It is alleged that Dr Nyanzi abused President Museveni and his late mother on September 16 on her Facebook page.

SP Ssekatte said she's facing offensive communication and cyber harassment charges.

However, Nyanzi's lawyer, Mr Isaac Semakadde said police cannot justify her continued detention but have to take her to court if there are any charges.

"I was there yesterday (Monday) and was even threatened by detectives who claimed that I was interfering with their investigations. They failed to administer a charge and caution statement and instead asked her to record a plain statement. Detectives told me they could not administer the charge and caution statement because they were acting on orders from above," Mr Semakadde said.

He also accused police of detaining him when he went to see his client.

"After complaining to the head CID, they let me out but left a recording gadget in the room when I was supposed to hold a confidential conversation with my client," he added.

This is not the first time Dr Nyanzi is getting in trouble for attacking the First family.

In April last year, Dr Nyanzi was arrested and charged for allegedly calling the president a "pair of buttocks" in a Facebook post on January 28.

Before that, Dr Nyanzi who had taken to criticizing the government through the use of abusive and vulgar language launched a cyber-attack on the First Lady, where she called on Ugandans to donate a brain and educate her to better understand the everyday experiences of a school-going child.

However, Ms Museveni, also minister for education, then said she had forgiven Nyanzi but castigated her for setting a bad example as an educationist to the students under her guidance.

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