The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party leaders and activists in Kampala have endorsed Dr Stella Nyanzi to stand for the Kampala Woman Parliamentary seat in the 2021 general elections.
The position is currently being held by Nabilah Naggayi Sempala who is also a member of the opposition party.
According to FDC’s Deputy Secretary General Harold Kaija, the former Makerere University research fellow was asked by the party leaders in Kampala to contest for the parliamentary seat, a request she warmly welcomed.
“It was a delight as Dr Stella Nyanzi is officially welcomed back from a maximum-security prison by the FDC Kampala leaders and activists. They gave her an amazing award and presents. Stella was asked to contest for the position of Woman Member of Parliament of Kampala city which she accepted. When she expressed fears of the costs involved, the activists told her they will never let her walk alone,” Kaija said in a Facebook post on Friday.
Although, the party leadership claims the two will have to first go in primaries, the odds seem to be against Sempala who is a close friend to Gen Mugisha Muntu who left the country’s main opposition party to form his own party- Alliance for National Transformation.
According to observers, even in the last elections, Ms Sempala fought tooth and nail to see that she she bounces back as the party flag bearer because some members within the party had already started accusing her of not supporting the party leadership.
Who is Dr Stella Nyanzi?
She is a Ugandan medical anthropologist, feminist, queer rights activist, and scholar of sexuality, family planning, and public health. Born 16 June 1974.
She has a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication and Literature at Makerere University, she has a Masters degree of Science in Medical Anthropology from University College of London.
Nyanzi also received her PhD in Anthropology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where she studied social anthropology, sexuality, and youth and health policy from 2003 to 2008.
Nyanzi began her career in 1997 as a Social Science Research Associate at the Medical Research Council (UK) Programme in Uganda ,where she worked until September 2002.
She then received a new position working as Local Anthropologist at the Medical Research Council Laboratories, The Gambia, where she worked for one year. She left that position to pursue her PhD in London.
In 2009, Stella Nyanzi began at Makerere University as a Researcher at the Law, Gender & Sexuality Research Project, as a member of the Faculty of Law, where she worked until December 2013. She then worked as a Research Fellow at the Makerere Institute of Social Research until 2016. While there, she was asked to lecture in the new PhD programme, called the Mamdani PHD Project, but declined. Her office was closed and, in an example of the West African feminist cultural practice of what the scholar Naminata Diabate has called “naked agency,” made a nude protest against her boss.
After her arrest in 2017, she was suspended from Makerere University. She appealed the decision with Makerere University’s appeal tribunal, which directed that she be reinstated, promoted to the level of a research fellow with immediate effect, and paid back wages. The university refused to abide by its tribunal’s decision. So, she filed a lawsuit against the university requesting reinstatement and back wages. In response, in December 2018, the university dismissed her, along with 45 other academics, arguing that her contract expired.
Nyanzi has also done consultation work for various social research organizations outside of Uganda and The Gambia.
In March 2017, Nyanzi referred to President Museveni as “a pair of buttocks.”
On 7 April 2017, she was arrested and detained by police at Kiira Police Station on charges of cyber harassment and offensive communication.
On 10 April 2017, she was thereafter produced in court, where she was charged with the misuse of a computer, cyber harassment, and abusing the President under section 24, and 25 of the Computer Misuse Act of 2011. She was then remanded to Luzira Prison.
On 11 April 2017, doctors from Butabika Hospital were asked to carry out a psychiatric assessment examination to determine whether she was insane, as the government prosecutor was alleging. However, she resisted the examination and requested that her personal doctor and at least one family member should be present if they want to carry out a medical test on her.
On 10 May 2017, she was released on a non-cash 10 million Ugandan shillings.
Nyanzi was again on 2 November, 2018 arrested after posting a poem on Facebook that the state deemed abusive towards Museveni and his late mother. She was remanded to Luzira over offensive communication and cyber harassment charges.
The poem, posted on 16 September, the day after Museveni’s 74th birthday, suggested the president should have died at birth and accused him of corroding “all morality and professionalism out of our public institutions in Uganda”.
In August 2019 she was sentenced for 18 months by Buganda Road court magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu in which she jailed Nyanzi for 18 months after finding her guilty of cyber harassment and offensive communication against Museveni.
Last month she was released on orders of High Court judge Justice Henry Peter Adonyo who said that magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu had no jurisdiction to convict Dr Nyanzi of cyber harassment since there was no enough evidence to pin her.
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