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.