Uganda: By Prosecuting Dr. Nyanzi, The Emperor Strips Himself Naked

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Heil to the chief! Dictator Gen. Museveni


Thousands of Ugandans and non-Ugandan supporters globally, many of them operating across a variety of social networks, from Facebook to Twitter, and others setting up physical "Free Stella Nyanzi" campaign groups, have rallied to the support of the fiery, no-nonsense Makerere University academic who has seriously unsettled the embattled Ugandan military regime of General Yoweri Museveni.

The 42-year old Dr. Stella Nyanzi has rapidly become a house-hold name in Uganda, and some would say a much- loved liberation struggle icon, after she unleashed a volcano of colorful alleged "vulgarities" at Gen. Museveni and his wife Janet, the Education minister, whom Dr. Nyanzi accused of having an uncaring attitude towards the Ugandan and African girl-child.

The central point of contention between Dr. Nyanzi and the Museveni household was the supposed negation by the regime of state responsibility to provide young Ugandan girls of primary and secondary age the basic necessities of life, such as menstrual period sanitary pads.

To protest what she saw as the abject relegation of national responsibility, Dr. Nyanzi sought to shame the Musevenis into action, by describing their indifference and lack of care for the Ugandan girl-children in terminologies and expressions bordering on naked vulgarity.

Dr.  Nyanzi’'s damning verbal assault on the Musevenis over their alleged dereliction of responsibilities towards the school-girls Includes referring to the General in a social media posting as "a pair of buttocks" and the First Lady as "empty-brained."

Her politically-charged and loquacious or verbose postings havepricked the bottoms of Gen. Museveni and his wife Janet Museveni, like the sharp thorns of the beautiful Lycium flower plant judging by how the state has unleashed its wrath against her. She may have "touched the anus of a leopard” to use the very words byGen. Museveni right before Uganda's presidential elections last year.  At the time he was describing his fury, unleashed after opposition party supporters allegedly attacked his own supporters.

Dr. Nyanzi and the rest of the world now discover that Gen. Museveni who has exercised absolute power for 31 years has also reserved the use of "vulgarity" only for himself in Uganda.

Yet in a period of just a few days after Dr. Nyanzi's arrest in Kampala by the Ugandan regime, glaring portraits of Nyanzi, wearing the distinctive Che Guevara style liberation struggle hat, went viral on the social media networks, with many Ugandans choosing to replace their Facebook account photo IDs with that of Dr. Nyanzi.

The states disproportionately harsh prosecution of Dr. Nyanzi may have inadvertently transformed this political virgin into a Ugandan Guevara like icon.

If the Ugandan dictator and his wife thought that by arresting Dr. Nyanzi they were solving the "Stella Nyanzi problem" they were greatly mistaken. She has become a real thorn in their corrupted and hardened posteriors.

Speaking of Guevarra, if mere shouts of harmless "vulgarities" by Dr. Nyanzi could so grievously upset the Museveni household, which has dominated Ugandan politics for 31 years using the force of arms, one wonders what a fully-fledged change agent could bring into liberation equation at a time when the repressive regime is thought to be at its weakest.

Today in Uganda, several liberation initiatives are at play, with a growing number of anti-Museveni activists organizing wide-ranging forms of "defiance" campaigns aimed at restoring democracy after 3-decades of authoritarian regime.

After Dr. Nyanzi's arrest she was injudiciously confined without being charged for over 48 hours – a clear violation of Uganda’s constitutional provisions. No one knows what still awaits her in a country where political opponents are routinely imprisoned, tortured and even killed by the ruling dictatorship.

But the causes for which she has decided to sacrifice herself, including her defense of the rights of the African Girl-Child, and the symbolism she is now assuming as a liberation icon may be what Ugandans have been waiting for before they could decide to massively join the on-going struggle for a better Uganda.

Dr. Nyanzi’'s unorthodox liberation tactics and unique verbosity and her subsequent persecution by the Museveni regime is already attracting attention beyond the shores of Uganda with reports in over a dozen news outlets, including: Al Jazeera, Voice of America, National Public Radio (NPR), FOX News which carried an Associated Press report, All Africa, the Standard Group, UK Daily Mail, The Black Star News which quoted a Trump administration official calling on Uganda to respect freedom of expression, Newsweek, Reuters, and BBC.

People beyond Uganda are now able to see for themselves the evidence of Gen. Museveni'’s repressive rule in Uganda.

In the words of Maria Burnett, associate director for Africa at Human Rights Watch, Nyanzi's arrest and prosecution was an "indicator that those who express critical views of the Ugandan government, especially the first family, can face its wrath".

A petition campaign demanding that the U.S. suspend aid to Gen. Museveni's regime and for the unconditional release of  Dr. Nyanzi's has been launched

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