A Ugandan human rights activist was arrested and is still detained for calling President Yoweri Museveni ‘a pair of buttocks’.
Academic Stella Nyanzi is being accused of ‘disturbing the peace’ after criticizing the government.
Nyanzi, a research fellow at Makerere University,was detained last Friday after hosting a fundraising drive to raise money for sanitary pads for schoolgirls.
She slammed First Lady and education minister Janet Museveni for saying the government had no money to buy sanitary towels for poor schoolgirls. The president promised to budget for them when he was campaigning for re-election last year.
Nyanzi is also one of many critics that say President Museveni, who has ruled since 1986, plans to be in power for life.
She was charged with using a computer to post on her Facebook page a reference to the president as a ‘pair of buttocks’.
This suggestion, according to police, ‘is obscene and indecent’.
Uganda does not have a sedition law, a crime in which criticizing or mocking a head of state could see a person in jail.
However, Nyanzi is being charged with ‘offensive communication’ of the Computer Misuse Act. The ‘pair of buttocks’ line, according to officers, was an attempt to ‘disturb the peace’ and ‘right of privacy’ of President Museveni.
Academic will continue criticizing Ugandan government
‘I totally reject the idea that one cannot … and should not criticize the people responsible for abusing the rights of Ugandans and resources of Uganda through 31 years of increasing despotic family rule,’ Nyanzi said in one of her Facebook posts.
‘As a thinker, scholar, poetess, lyricist, writer, Facebooker and creative producer, it is my responsibility to boldly critique the corrupt tyrants of the day.’
The academic is one of the very few speaking out for LGBTI rights in Uganda. If you have gay sex, you can spend up to seven years in prison.
Speaking shortly after hosting a vigil for Pulse victims last year, Nyanzi said: ‘Love always wins and solidarity gives strength. It is important to know that we are all connected. All humans are human!’