Opposition figure Kizza Besigye’s son Anselm Besigye on Thursday clashed with security forces at Buganda Road Court where he had gone to attend the trial of former Makerere researcher, Dr Stella Nyanzi.
Anselm identified the officers are members of the Police Counter Terrorism Unit who were donning uniforms like those of the Joint Anti-Taskforce [JATT].
“These are the cops not permitting me to observe the trail of comrade Stella Nyanzi as is my constitutional right,” he said, sharing the image of the officers.
Anselm said he was allowed in court just in time to catch up with the judgement.
“Made it in the courtroom at 4pm. Trial was meant to start at 2pm,” said the son of Oxfam director Winnie Byanyima.
Anselm criticised presiding magistrate Gladys Kasamunyu for “citing judgements from colonial GB, India, US & Uganda to establish definition of obscenity”.
“Obscenity is being defined as material that 1. lacks artistic merit, 2. may corrupt individuals and 3. violates “contemporary community standards”.”
He said the unjust, evidentially “dubious judgement” against Nyanzi is proof of the extent to which her radical politics “threatens the figure & fetish of Museveni, Uganda’s untouchable “fount of honour”.”
He said the regime will go to any length, even this absurd judicial spectacle, to protect the symbol underwriting its oppression.
“We can only hope more Ugandans will continue to laugh, offend, and bring Museveni back down to earth.”
Speaking on the matter, human rights lawyer, Nicholas Opiyo, said: “We are not just normalising that which is frowned upon in civilised legal processes, but we are setting down a new rule.”
He added: “In this ‘new rule of pleasure, the ruler’ we all are like scared villagers under a dark nimbus cloud. It will soon rain on us all.”
Nyanzi who returns to court today at 3pm for sentencing had the court erupt with chants of “we shall overcome” & “Museveni must go” when she was found guilty of cyber harassment.
“If I have committed a crime, send me to a prison that takes care of women’s needs. Can something be done about the blocked toilets & the UTIs at Luzira prison? We have a sick bay with no doctors,” she said.
She added: “I would like to embolden young people…our youth must learn to use their voices. The internet must be protected. The public media has been silenced.”