The trial of suspended Makerere University research fellow, Dr Stella Nyanzi at Buganda Road Magistrate’s Court maybe halted for some time as the High Court in Kampala called for her file.
In a July 18 letter, the Registrar of Criminal Division of High Court, Ms Mary Ikit says Nyanzi applied for revision of the ongoing criminal proceedings in the case before Grade one Magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu.
The letter addressed to the Buganda Road Chief Magistrate states “you are directed to forward the original file with certified copies of proceedings and exhibits if any, as soon as possible.”
The latest development comes a day after Buganda Road Court Magistrate had closed the case with no single defence witnesses on record pending judgment.
Ms Kamasanyu had set August 1, 2019 as the date to deliver her judgment in the case in which Nyanzi is charged with offensive communication and cyber harassment.
Nyanzi’s lawyer Isaac Ssemakadde couldn’t confirm or deny that they had applied for judicial review of the proceedings.
“We have no comment at this stage”, Mr Ssemakadde said.
However, Judiciary Spokesperson Solomon Muyita said: “Nyanzi’s lawyers filed an application seeking a review for the ruling delivered recently by Kamasanyu.”
In the ruling, Ms Kamasanyu had declined to grant an order to have Nyanzi issue an advert in the media soliciting for willing witnesses to come and defend her.
The magistrate argued that the request was not only alien and queer in the legal practice but also misdirecting the court and perhaps to make people lose confidence in the judicial system.
Ms Kamasanyu thus closed the trial before the defense lawyers could submit witnesses in Nyanzi’s defense. She said Dr Nyanzi had not only chosen to sit on her own right to defend herself but also use it as a weapon to frustrate further proceedings in her own case.
Dr Nyanzi who’s currently on remand at Luzira Prison is accused of posting a loutish birthday poem on her Facebook page on September 16, 2018 attacking President Museveni’s late mother, Esteri Kokundeka.
She was arrested on November 2, 2018 and has since been in Luzira prison following her failure to apply for bail.
Prosecution laid evidence from three witnesses including Detective Assistant Superintendents of police Bill Ndyamuhaki, Harriet Kenyana and lawyer Charles Dalton Opwonya who pinned her of the offences in question.
President Yoweri Museveni has on Thursday warned police against arresting any individual in his name.
The president advised police to concentrate on curbing bigger crimes other than arresting people in his name.