Dr. Stella Nyanzi was this week remanded to Luzira Prison until April 25, among other things, referred to President Yoweri Museveni as, “a pair of buttocks”.
In the charge sheet before the Buganda Road Chief Magistrates Court, the State said Nyanzi’s reference to the President, was not only obscene, but also indecent contrary to the Cyber Harassment of the Computer Misuse Act 2011.
The State also accuses Nyanzi of disturbing the “peace, quiet or privacy” of the President after she “willfully and repeatedly used electronic communication to “post messages offensive in nature via Facebook” contrary to the Offensive Communication of the Computer Misuse Act 2011.
What really is, “Offensive Communication”? Some Ugandans are biologically vulgar, that even their names sound like STD’s. Way back in 2005, when I mentioned the name of the late Mbale Member of Parliament, [Kamana] Wesonga, my elders hit out at me mbu, I had said obscene words. They may have been right. Blame this on their obscene brains, because though the name, (Kamana), has a loose reference to women’s private parts in the Buganda culture, in Bugisu, it happens to be a name.
This reminds me of my University alumni, Beryl Mabwa, whom we used to laugh at because her name means a wound in Luganda. And she would laugh back at me saying in her tribe back in Kenya, my name, Buule, means pupu.
There are totally demeaning and naughty lyrics being played over FM radios and television (some government and others church-owned). Featuring ‘F’ words, but the proprietors of such songs have always walked AWAY scot free without any summons from concerned authorities. Haven’t you listened to songs like; Farmer, Kwata Wakati, Dad Emese, and many more? Are they appropriate to children’s ears?
Sadly, we are still in a society where authorities consider handling extra-micro issues other than things that will move us forward.
The finances and energy wasted on stalking Stella Nyanzi and hacking into her social media ports, would have been usefully been diverted into meeting public demands, like repairing the pot-holed roads and empowering families with start-up programmes instead of the unworkable Youth Fund which isn’t even meant to exist! We need jobs, good roads, better health services, improved transport systems, not your biblical allegorical speeches that predict the future; as if you will stay for a zillion years.
This is not a dooms-day prophesy, but I would like to inform whoever is concerned that Government is dealing with people who signed out their lives years ago. In my home village, I know of a man who once cried for being released from Mpigi Prison; claiming that in prison he was atleast getting free food. I am not seeking an invitation to the coolers so as to enjoy free (bad) food in prisons, because at least I can still afford a meal. I am speaking about my neighbours’ children in Mpigi who cannot afford a food flask or transport without boda bodas .
True, I don’t subscribe to lose language, but even the flowery language politicians use, neither pays school fees for my daughter, nor the rent for my single room in Bunga. Unfortunately, it is only one Nyanzi speaking out. Yet, there are many silent Stellas, who are deeply vulgar that, even when, you, our leaders dress in those Winner Classic suits, they see naked thieves with cowards on their faces waiting to arrest and see them die in prison.
Why don’t we change and add to the Uganda lexicon words like; ‘lying’, ‘corruption’, ‘murder’, ‘vote-rigging’, ‘extortion’, ‘blackmail’, etc, which now merit vulgarity, instead of the references to the innocent private parts – which most of you crave.
I am an innocent son of a peasant, who is battling pressure and diabetes but he cannot afford buying tablets which don’t exist in Mpigi Government health centres.
I am speaking for my daughter, Audrian, who in the next three years will start her menstrual periods with no guarantee that, me, her father who has a poor paying job, will be able to afford pads.
The question: what and who determines vulgarity, obscenity or pornography? What if someone complains that so and so was vulgar and said, ‘my thing is tiny’ and then, later asks you to undress so that he/she can prove it to you? What is the role of Church leaders and families? Are some of them enjoying tithes and parading miracles while driving cars with customized car-plates?
The writer is a journalist and a social Media critic @buulegabriel