Exclusive: Stella Nyanzi reveals when she will go back to Uganda
Donned in a red polka dot dress and seated in the midst of a group of poets at the Kenya National Theatre (KNT) located along Harry Thuku Road was Dr Stella Nyanzi, the controversial Ugandan activist who has been a harsh critic of President Yoweri Museveni’s regime.
A lively Ms Nyanzi, smiled as she ushered me to sit next to her for an interview on what her plans were, especially now that she cannot go to her home country.
In January 2021, Dr Nyanzi sought asylum abroad for fear of her life after her boyfriend was kidnapped and assaulted in Uganda.
The incident happened when she was running for the Kampala Woman Representative seat on a Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) ticket.
Dr Nyanzi, who a year ago was in prison for writing a poem which used an explicit description of the Ugandan President’s birth and his mother’s private parts, claims her partner was abducted and tortured after the elections.
She then fled to Kenya where she successfully sought asylum and left for Germany where her children now reside.
My meeting with Dr Nyanzi coincides with her one-month stay in Kenya. During that she has been going round the country reading out her poems from three of her books titled: Eulogies of My Mouth: Poem for a Poisoned Uganda, No Roses From My mouth: Poems From Prison and Don’t Come in My Mouth; Poems That Rattled Uganda.
“Hello, welcome, come have a seat next to me,” she tells me.
Ugandan academic-cum-political activist, Dr Stella Nyanzi during an interview in Nairobi on September 23, 2022. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE”I am here to watch poets perform, if I am around this is a place I can be coming on a weekly basis.”
Moments later, two women carrying two large sufurias arrive and place them on the ground before they ask those willing to eat to queue and serve.
“I was supposed to be inside the hall but what made me come outside is this free meal. Let’s go and serve,” she says.
Dr Nyanzi is accompanied by her sister Susan and Ms Annah Ashaba another famous poets, whose has also gotten in trouble with the Ugandan authorities.
The exiled activist serves her meal and tells me that she would multitask between penning a poem that she is to perform at the event, eating and answering my questions.
She tells me she will not go to Uganda until the country gets a democratically elected leader
“I will go to Uganda when President Museveni will accept that the citizens have the right to democracy,” she says.
So why did she support Engineer Patrick Amuriat Oboi for presidency and not Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine?
“When I ran, I did not support Bobi Wine because I belong to a political party called FDC, we had a presidential candidate,” she said.
She says her party supported her and agreed to offer her finances for her to run for elections.
Bobi Wine, she claims, initially agreed to support Mr Oboi but later turned around and formed the National Unity Platform (NUP).
In the past Dr Nyanzi has said that Bobi Wine visited her several times while she was in prison where he asked him to join her political party but he declined.