By Stephen Kalema

Oxfam International boss Winnie Byanyima has blamed the government of President Museveni for jailing Makerere University academic Dr. Stella Nyanzi over mere social media posts

In the statements posted on twitter on Saturday morning Byanyima said government could not imprison anybody that uses social media to insult others.

“Nyanzi shouldn’t have been imprisoned because of what is considered as just mere insults posted on social media,” said Byanyima   

“If everyone who insults another person was jailed, how many Ugandan would be out working? How many prisons would we need? Isn’t there any better way of handling abusive people on social media? If what Stella writes on social media may be offensive, vulgar, shocking, irritating then press block,” reads her post.

Nyanzi was charged on Friday with two accounts of cyber harassment and offensive communication, in which the prosecution claims she had an intention of disturbing the peace of President Museveni. 

Prosecution states that Nyanzi posted on her face book wall on September 16th wishing that the ‘late Kokundeka’s cursed vaginal canal had burnt up Museveni’s unborn foetus.’ 

 “If rest of us press block when we are offended, why doesn’t Museveni try the same? It is excessive to lock up someone for offensive post.”

Byanyima said Nyanzi is testing the unfairness of the rule in order to protect the powerful and to silence those who want to hold them to account. 

“Nyanzi is on the frontline of the struggle for human rights and democracy in Uganda,” said Byanyima

Nyanzi on Friday told the court that she was not willing to apply for bail, saying she wanted to stay in Luzira Prison to teach women there how to use Facebook. 

 

This prompted the judge to remand her to Luzira Prison.

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