Stella Nyanzi, a prominent academic in Uganda, is now under police custody for not any criminal charges but for just criticizing the president’s wife.
President Yoweri Museveni’s wife Janet Musaveni is education minister of Uganda and lately the government has reneged a campaign pledge to supply sanitary pads free to school girls who are unable to afford hygiene products.
Saying the academic continued posting issues on Facebook the police spokesman Emilian Kayima confirmed she was arrested on Friday and will be appearing in a Kampala court on Monday facing charges of cyber harassment as well as for offensive communication under a 2011 law governing computer misuse.
However, about a year ago the Ugandan First Lady was heard saying the academic has been forgiven as she specializes in the study of sexuality in Africa.
Some of the works of Nyanzi have been provocative in some circles of conservative society.
In her latest Facebook post she accused the president’s wife of being out of touch with the reality of the masses.
The first lady said the pledge could not be met due to budgetary problem. Knowing this the academic started fundraising campaign.
Meanwhile, the arrest has been criticzed from different sectors. Social media critic Rosebell Kagumire the government has extended traditional methods of intimidation to online speech.
Senior Africa Researcher at Human Rights Watch, Maria Burnett, said the arrest of academic is an attack on free expression.
Burnett added, “The arrest and criminal charges brought against Dr Nyanzi are yet another clear indicator that those who express critical views of the government can face its wrath.”