Ugandan activist Stella Nyanzi has been freed from police custody after being charged with flouting Covid-19 containment measures.
In a Facebook post on Monday night, the aspiring Woman Member of Parliament for Kampala said she was freed alongside her political assistant Rugumayo Ka Kusemererwa on a non-cash bail of USh1 million by Grade One Magistrate Kebei of Busia Chief Magistrate’s Court.
A non-cash bail is a sum of money asked by the court to be paid by a surety when the accused fails to appear in court.
The two were charged with disobeying lawful orders put in place to contain the spread of Covid-19 and crossing the border through Sofia porous routes.
They denied the charges and the Court was adjourned to October 22, 2020.
Uganda is yet to reopen its borders since President Yoweri Museveni ordered their closure in March when coronavirus struck.
Nyanzi, a vocal critic Museveni, termed her Saturday arrest at the Busia border point as usual harassment of opposition leaders.
“Before taking plea, I implored the magistrate to bring dictator Yoweri Museveni into the suspect’s dock with me because last Monday he crossed the border into Tanzania. I also implored her to bring my king Kabaka Ronnie Muwenda Mutebi into the suspect’s dock because he too crossed the border into Kenya recently,” she said.
“I am not on trial in this matter; instead the big cats in power Yoweri and Ronnie are on trial. If the borders are closed in the name of preventing COVID19, why did nobody arrest these two powerful Ugandan men for disobeying the COVID19 directives about borders? Are they above the law? Does this law only apply to poor women in the opposition such as myself?”
While confirming her arrest on Saturday, Nyanzi, who has been arrested severally and charged in court for criticizing Museveni, said that she was intercepted at a Petrol station by a combined security team including the army, CMI, Police and other security agencies.
“A car full of big men with stomachs in layer, thin black armed LDUs carrying AK47s and four military policemen wearing camouflage have now surrounded my car,” she said in a Facebook post.
Police accused Nyanzi of having crossed to Kenya through a porous border point.
During her visit to Kenya, Nyanzi met Suba North MP Millie Odhiambo, activist Boniface Mwangi and Boniface Ogutu Akach, the convener of Kondele Social Justice Centre in the Lakeside city.
She also toured Kibera slum and the Nairobi Animal Orphanage.