"Due to the absence of the trial magistrate, the matter is adjourned until March 20 for hearing."
NATIONAL | COURT
KAMPALA - The trial of former Makerere University researcher Dr. Stella Nyanzi has hit a snag over indisposed (absent) trial magistrate.
Grade One Magistrate Robert Mukanza has pushed the matter to March 20 for hearing.
"Due to the absence of the trial magistrate, the matter is adjourned until March 20 for hearing," Mukanza ruled Friday morning.
Nyanzi is accused of indecent communication against President Yoweri Museveni.
About a fortnight ago, the trial Grade One Magistrate, Gladys Kamasanyu, dismissed Nyanzi’s application in which she sought to have the charges against her dismissed on grounds that they were defective.
The magistrate fixed March 1 to begin hearing the evidence from the prosecution witnesses.
Nyanzi, a mother of three, is charged with two counts of cyber harassment and offensive communication in regard to her alleged indecent communication against President Museveni and his late mother Esiteeri Kokundeka.
Prosecution alleges that on September 16, 2018, Nyanzi posted on her Facebook page indecent words against the president and his late mother.
According to the prosecution, the said posts were intended to disturb their peace, quiet and right to privacy.
Under the law, Any person who willfully and repeatedly uses electronic communication to disturb or attempts to disturb the peace or right of privacy of any person with no purpose of legitimate communication is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding 24 currency points or imprisonment not exceeding one year or both.
In regard to cyber harassment, a person who willfully, maliciously and repeatedly uses electronic communication to harass another person and makes a threat with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear for his or her safety or to a member of that person’s immediate family commits the crime of cyber stalking and is liable to a fine or imprisonment term not exceeding five years or both.