We the undersigned,
To Dr. Paul Williams
Re: The continued violation of Dr. Stella Nyanzi’s labour rights.
On October 2nd, 2018, the Makerere University's Staff Appeals Tribunal directed the university management to immediately reinstate Dr. Stella Nyanzi at Makerere University stating that her suspension (for Facebook posts about the Minister of Education) was unlawful and illegal. In addition, the University was instructed to pay all emoluments withheld in the period Dr. Nyanzi was unlawfully suspended.
By November 1st, 2018, the University administration had not effectively responded to the directive. Unemployed and without a salary, Dr. Stella Nyanzi through her lawyer informed the Uganda Police of her intention to hold a peaceful silent procession to Makerere University in protest.
On November 2nd, 2018, Dr. Stella Nyanzi went to Wandegeya Police station to "obtain" Police escorts intended to provide the silent marchers security. At 11:40am reports indicated that she had been arrested.
On November 7th, Dr. Stella Nyanzi appeared at Buganda Road court and was charged with cyber harassment, offensive communication and disturbing the peace, quiet or right of privacy of President Museveni. Dr. Nyanzi was held by state security apparatus without charge for longer than the constitutionally acceptable period. Dr. Nyanzi’s next court appearance was November 20th, 2018 and she is set to return on December 10th, 2018.
In all these proceedings, the criminal charges and imprisonment suffered by Dr. Stella Nyanzi, she is denied a chance to participate in gainful employment. This is in contravention with section 63 (2) of the Employment Act, 2006: as well as article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
On December 21st, 2018 news report indicated that Dr. Stella Nyanzi had been fired from Makerere University alongside thirty-two others.
Both the 2017 and 2018 criminal charges in which she is accused of disturbing the peace of President Museveni; and The First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Mrs. Janet Kataaha Museveni using poetic metaphors are a direct assault to the Creative Freedom and license to all who possess Artistic and Creative leanings in Uganda as well as an affront to academic and intellectual freedom overall. Both these rights and freedoms are protected within the larger right to freedom of expression under the Ugandan Constitution, the African Charter on Peoples and Human Rights, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Convention for Civil and Political Rights, among others.
The charges and continued detention of Dr. Stella Nyanzi amount to a persecution campaign by the state of Uganda, contrary to the country’s legal obligations at national, regional and international levels.
SolutionWe therefore appeal to the authorities herein addressed to ensure that the charges levied against Dr. Stella Nyanzi are dropped and her persecution brought to a stop.
Signed by Arao AmenyMargaret Namulyanga Bwesigye bwa MwesigireRosebell Idaltu Kagumire Namata-Sserumaga Musisi