The defense team led by Isaac Ssemakadde has lined up 19 witnesses including doctors, professors and religious leaders. Kamasanyu has summoned the witnesses to appear in court following an application by Nyanzi’s lawyer.
Dr. Stella Nyanzi returns before the Buganda
Road Court Grade one, Magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu on Tuesday next week to
defend herself on charges of offensive communication and cyber harassment.
The defense team led by Isaac Ssemakadde has
lined up 19 witnesses including doctors, professors and religious leaders.
Kamasanyu has summoned the witnesses to appear in court following an
application by Nyanzi’s lawyer.
Ssemakadde said they selected the witnesses
following claims by the prosecution that Nyanzi’s birthday poem, which led to
her prosecution offends Christian morality. This stemmed from the testimony Bill Ndyamuhaki and Charles Dalton Opwonya, both
prosecution witnesses during cross examination.
Ndyamuhaki told court that he judged Nyanzi’s
Facebook post based on his Anglican teachings. Opwonya told court that he is a
born again preacher and counselor among others. He tried to introduce
theological concepts in his testimony, prompting the defense lawyers to
challenge him on the foundation of the biblical metaphors in the contested
He cited ‘Proverbs 10:1, 29:15-17, which states
that ‘a wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish son brings grief
to his mother’. Adding that “Whoever remains stiff-necked after many
rebukes will suddenly be destroyed without remedy”.
However, Nyanzi defense team
objected to the testimony, saying it was characterized by amateurish, imperfect
and self-serving allusions of Christian morality, which ought to be challenged
by summoning religious leaders and literary experts.
As a result, Nyanzi’s defense team identified the resistant
Kampala Assistant Archbishop, Zac David
Niringiye and Father Gaetano Batanyenda, the Kitanga Parish Priest in Kabale
district. According to Ssemakadde, they intend to prove that contemporary
standards of Christian morality are not as warped as wrongly depicted by the
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The other witnesses are literature experts who have written a number of literature pieces related to the charges
against Nyanzi. They include Professor Slyvia Tamale, Dr. Susan Kiguli and
Solome Nakaweesi. These have been at the forefront of advocating for political,
social and economic rights of women just like Dr. Nyanzi.
Nakaweesi is one of the
fierce feminist who advocated for the
staging of the Vagina monologue that was banned by government in 2005 citing
its obscene content. She is also the former Executive Director of Akina Mama Wa
Africa, a Pan African Organization that advocates for women rights and
Professor Slyvia Tamale
is the first Female Dean of the Law School at
Makerere. She has published a number of literature pieces on sexuality and women.
Some of these include ‘exploring the Contours of African
Sexualities: Religion, Law and Power
, Eroticism, Sensuality and ‘Women's
Secrets’ Among the Baganda
among others. Engineer Frank Kitumba is the f
ormer Director of the Directorate of Information
Communication Technology Support at Makerere University. His ICT
experience is considered vital since Nyanzi is charged under the computer
misuse Act. Professor Fredrick Juuko is a
Media Law Scholar and the longest serving academician
at Makerere University. Dr. Susan Kiguli is
a creative writer and law scholar at Makerere
University. She has written a series of poems including her famous African Saga
of 1988, which brings together 45 poems of protest.
Other witnesses are the Criminal Investigations,
Director Grace Akullo, Associate Professor Ronald Kakungulu Mayambala, Mustapha
Mugisha, Dr. Sylvester Kahyana, Dr. James Ociti, and Prof Abas Kiyimba, the
coordinator of Gender, Law and Sexuality at Makerere University.
Others are Allan Tacca and Mildred Apenyo, a
daughter to prosecution witness, Charles Dalton Opwonya. The prosecution
contends that on September, 16th, 2018 Dr. Nyanzi used her Facebook page to
attack and offend President Yoweri Museveni using a poem as a congratulatory
birthday message with obscene and indecent content.
Nyanzi has been in Luzira since November, 2018.