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Vocal Ugandan Activist Stella Nyanzi Flees To Kenya, Lawyer Says

Ugandan activist Stella Nyanzi and president Yoweri Museveni [Courtesy]

Ugandan activist Stella Nyanzi has fled to Nairobi, Kenya, over alleged political persecution back home, her lawyer George Luchiri Wajackoyah confirmed on Wednesday.

The long-time critic of President Yoweri Museveni, who is now seeking political asylum in Kenya,  arrived in Nairobi by bus on Saturday. She is reported to have crossed the Uganda-Kenya border “in disguise” to avoid detection by security agents.

The former Kampala Woman MP Candidate has been arrested and arraigned in court a number of times in the course of her activism.

Election loss 

The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) candidate came third in the January 14, 2021, parliamentary elections won by National Unity Platform (NUP) candidate Shamim Malende.

She acknowledged having lost the election fair and square.

Read: Ugandan Activist Stella Nyanzi Awarded Sh1.4 Million Over Violation Of Right To Freedom Of Movement

In the period leading up to the January 14 election, Nyanzi was arrested and charged with flouting Covid-19 rules after crossing over to Kenya in September last year.

The police accused her of having crossed the border through Sofia porous routes.

During her visit to Kenya then, 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.

Read Also: Win For Ugandan Activist Stella Nyanzi As High Court Overturns Jail Sentence

In February last year, Nyanzi won big after the High Court in Uganda quashed her conviction and sentencing to 18 months in prison for referring to President Museveni as a “pair of buttocks” in a Facebook post.

While ordering for Nyanzi’s immediate release from jail, Justice Henry Peter Adonyo cited lack of jurisdiction and fair hearing as a reason for overturning conviction by Buganda Road Court Grade one Magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu Musenze.

The judge further said the defence team was not given enough time to argue their case, hence denied the right to a fair trial.

Read Also: Ugandan Activist Stella Nyanzi Appeals Against ‘Unfair Conviction, Sentence’

Justice Adonyo ruled that the prosecution failed to produce evidence showing the location- of the device- where the offence was committed; either Uganda or out of the country.

“Prosecution did not as well ascertain the kind of device which was used to send as the digital prints were not presented before Buganda road,” ruled Justice Adonyo.

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Written by Wycliffe Nyamasege


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