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Stella Nyanzi. Image from Kampala Dispatch via Google.

In March 2017, following her criticism of Uganda’s education and sports minister, who happens to be the First Lady Janet Museveni, Makerere University’s appointment board indefinitely suspended Dr. Stella Nyanzi. Back in 2016, after instructions from the Director of the university’s Institute of Social Research, where Nyanzi is a fellow, mandating her to teach in a PhD programme when her employment was restricted to research, she had protested naked.

In October 2018, Makerere’s staff appeal tribunal directed the management to reinstate Nyanzi with full payment. The management did not, and Nyanzi sued it. In December, the university dismissed her and 45 other academics, arguing that her contract had expired. A Ugandan high court will now deliver its ruling on the case on 16 October.

Nyanzi’s lawyer, Isaac Ssemakadde, protests the decision to dismiss her in absentia and the appointment board’s unlawful contempt of the staff appeals tribunal. Nyanzi’s team wants the court to force the university to reinstate her, with full promotions and payment worth 750 million Ugandan shillings as well as impunity damages worth 250 million Ugandan shillings.

Meanwhile, Nyanzi has been in prison for supposedly insulting President Museveni’s mother Esteri Kokundeka on Facebook.

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Otosirieze is deputy editor of Brittle Paper. He is a judge for the 2018/19 Gerald Kraak Prize and the 2019 Miles Morland Writing Scholarships. He is an editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is the curator of the Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He combined English and History at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is completing a postgraduate degree in African Studies, and taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

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