Stella Nyanzi and her legal team were today left in shock when a witness they had brought to court to testify in her defence turned hostile and refused to testify. Barnabas Mustapha Mugisha refused to testify saying he did not know why he was summoned in court. He had been brought to court to testify in the cyber harassment case against Dr Stella Nyanzi.
Mugisha is a certified expert in computer hacking, information system audit, forensic and cyber investigations. He however told court that he is no longer practicing in that field as he is a certified accountant now. He therefore concluded that he cant testify.
He added that he is currently a certified accountant. Isaac Ssemakande, one of Nyanzi’s lawyer, however, argued that the witness only chooses to distance himself from commenting on the matter due to the sensitivity of the case but not because of what he emphasized.
Nyanzi is accused of publishing a loutish birthday poem on Facebook in which she insulted President Yoweri Museveni and his late mother Esteri Konkundeka.
Nyanzi’s other lawyer Derrick Bazekuketa also observed that defence only seeks his opinion in the matter which is in light with his knowledge that has both been published in written and spoken and not with what he claims as a career abandoned.
It is thought that Mugisha was bribed by the state to refuse to testify since his expert testimony was capable of influenving the court’s decision. Mugisha is a senior expert in the field of forensics and cyber crime. He is one of the few expeerts that the country has.
The defence team was forced to drop him as a witness and will now focus on the remaining 19 witnesses who are scheduled to appear before court on 10th July. The witnesses include Prof Sylvia Tamale, Dr Susan Kiguli, Criminal Investigations director Grace Akullo, Dr Ronald Kakungulu Mayambala, Eng Frank Kitumba, Dr Sylvester Kahyana, Dr James Ociti, Dr Susan Kiguli, and Prof Abas Kiyimba the coordinator of gender, law and sexuality at Makerere University, Prof Fredrick Jjuuko, Allan Tacca, Solome Nakaweesi, Bishop Zac David Niringiye, Father Gaetano Batanyenda and Mildred Apenyo, a daughter to prosecution witness Charles Dalton Opwonya.