Stella Nyanzi Protests Court's Orders on Witnesses

Through her lawyer, Isaac Ssemakadde Nyanzi had asked court to adjust the dates when the witnesses would appear.
03 Jul 2019 18:54
Dr Stella Nyanzi has protested Court’s order summoning her 19 witnesses to appear and testify in two days.  

The witnesses are supposed to defend Nyanzi in the offensive communication and cyber harassment case.

Through her lawyer, Isaac Ssemakadde Nyanzi had asked court to adjust the dates when the witnesses would appear. This is on grounds that when court presided by Buganda Road Grade one Magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu issued summons for the defence witnesses to appear on Wednesday in court, the lawyers failed to trace them.

The witnesses are: Professor  Sylvia Tamale, Dr Susan Kiguli, Criminal Investigations Director Grace Akullo, Dr Ronald Kakungulu Mayambala, Engineer  Frank Kitumba, Mustapha Mugisha, Dr Sylvester Kahyana, Dr James Ociti, Dr Susan Kiguli, and Prof Abas Kiyimba the coordinator of gender, law and sexuality at Makerere University.

Others are; Prof Fredrick Jjuuko, Allan Tacca, Solome Nakaweesi, Bishop Zac David Niringiye, Father Gaetano Batanyenda and Mildred Apenyo, a daughter to Prosecution witness Charles Dalton Opwonya.

Ssemakadde told court that they approached some of the witnesses but they told them the summons had come at a short notice and needed more time to prepare. 

Those approached include; CID Akullo and Engineer Frank Kitumba the former Director of the Directorate of Information Communication Technology Support at Makerere University.

However, Kamasanyu has insisted and ordered that all the defence witnesses should appear within two days effective July 9th, 2019.  

This was after State Prosecutors Timothy Amerit and Janet Kitimbo asked court to adjourn the matter for the last time.

 Ssemakadde says that the Magistrate has not been fair to defence team from the start since prosecution spent eight months adducing evidence from only three witnesses.

Ssemakadde has also faulted the Magistrate for issuing summons written in a language that does not communicate legal consequences should the receiver defy.  He noted that the magistrate left the summons open for a witness to choose to appear or not contrary to the required legal procedures.

Nyanzi, formerly a Research Fellow at Makerere Institute of Social Research reportedly posted a birthday poem on her Facebook page and attacked Esteri Kokundeka, the deceased mother of President Yoweri Museveni. Nyanzi has since been in Luzira following her arrest in November 2018. She refused to apply for bail.