KAMPALA– Buganda Road Chief Magistrate’s court has Tuesday, July 9, been amazed when the first defence witness presented by the jailed Makerere University Researcher Dr. Stellah Nyanzi failed to testify in her favour.
Mr Mustapha Mugisa an Information Communication Technology (ICT) expert had appeared in the witness dock, however he told the presiding trial magistrate Ms Gladys Kamasanyu that he did not know the gist of Dr Nyanzi’s case.
“Your worship I was not well briefed with the case and I do not understand it. I am not ready to testify,” Mr Mugisa said.
This prompted the trial magistrate to adjourn the case to July 10 for Nyanzi to present other witnesses although she opted to remain silent. This means that Dr Nyanzi will not defend herself and it will only be 19 witnesses who can testify and be cross examined.
Dr Nyanzi through her lawyer, Derrick Bazekuketta had asked court to summon 20 witnesses including President Museveni as her defence witnesses after court had ruled that she had a case to answer and thus needed to defend herself.
However Ms Kamasanyu ruled that the sitting president cannot be subjected to any court proceedings since summoning him amounts to the breach of the constitution.
The magistrate explained that the sitting president is a cascade of honor and thus court cannot compel him appear in court over any matter despite being a competent witness.
According to article 98 clause 4 of the Constitution states that while holding office the president shall not be liable to proceedings in any court, however he may appear voluntarily if he so wishes.
Dr Nyanzi is charged with offenses of Cyber harassment and offensive communication in which prosecution states that with an aim of disturbing the peace of president Museveni and that of her late mother Esteri Kokundeka ; she posted a loutish poem on her official face book page while attacking the privacy of the duo.
Nyanzi has been in jail at Luzira prison for now more than eight months having landed in trouble in September 2018 when she posted a loutish poem on her official face book while allegedly attacking the privacy of president Museveni and that of her late mother Esteri Kokundeka.
According to prosecution, the said poem which was posted a day after president Museveni celebrating his birth day disturbed his peace; hence forth charging Nyanzi with offensive communication.