KAMPALA - Dramatic scenes played out at Buganda Road Chief Magistrate's Court on Friday where former Makerere University research fellow Dr Stella Nyanzi was sentenced to 18 months in jail over cyber harassment.
At about 3:05 pm, the presiding Grade One Magistrate, Gladys Kamasanyu, entered the courtroom and everyone stood up in esteem to her arrival.
Immediately, Nyanzi's file was called by the court clerk but she was not physically in court.
Three prison wardresses were seen escorting her into the Luzira Prison based video conferencing room.
State attorney Timothy Amerit informed the court that the matter was coming up for sentencing.
Nyanzi also a mother of three children then started protesting until she stripped naked on the screens installed in the courtroom. Efforts by the magistrate to calm her down were futile.
"Please, this is a court, I humbly beg all of you to remain calm and keep quiet," Kamasanyu told the court but instead insults continued.
Nyanzi's supporters some donning blue t-shirts with ‘people's government' emblazoned on them started hurling insults at the magistrate.
They also threw water bottles that hit the magistrate on the head until the Police intervened to restore order.
The magistrate later sentenced Nyanzi to 18 months in jail, noting that she committed the offence with utter ruthlessness, having directed it against President Yoweri Museveni, the fountain of honour, and his late mother Esteeri Kokundeka.
"I, therefore, sentence you to 18 months imprisonment. Considering the nine months you have spent on remand, you will serve only nine months," Kamasanyu ruled.
Defence lawyers Isaac Ssemakadde and Derrick Bazekuketta were a no show in the courtroom.
On Thursday, Nyanzi was convicted of cyber harassment but acquitted on the offensive communication charge.
Six activists detained
Six activists have since been detained at Central Police Station in Kampala for causing commotion in court.
They are Augustine Ojobile, Abdallah Waiswa, Joel Kabali, Simoni Wanyera, Fatuma Abenabyo and Moses Katumba.
According to Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson Patrick Onyango, the group faces contempt of court, assault and malicious damage to property charges.
Among the court properties destroyed include a metal detector machine.