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Nyanzi: Why I fled Kampala

By Amina Wako February 4th, 2021 2 min read

Ugandan political activist Stella Nyanzi has exclusively told Nairobi News she was forced to escape into Kenya after her partner was abducted by President Yoweri Museveni’s regime.

Nyanzi and her three children are currently in Nairobi in search of political asylum.

She claims to have been politically persecuted by authorities in her home country in the aftermath of the January 14 general elections.

“I am in Kenya because Ugandans in the opposition who have criticized the government of Yoweri Museveni are getting abducted every day from the streets, from their homes, from their beds. Ugandans are kidnapped from private cars and taken to detention facilities where they are tortured and interrogated about their next plans for the liberation,” explained the academic scholar.

Nyanzi, a former research fellow at Makerere University, lost in her bid to become Kampala Woman MP during the polls. She adds that she is happy to have made it out of Uganda alive.

“The fear of not knowing who will be taken next, my friends have been abducted, my partner has been abducted, I think I am fortunate that I got out when I could,” she said.

For now, Dr. Nyanzi says she will rest, re-strategize, learn about the system and be back with the power to push for the emancipation of Uganda from the current regime which she described as authoritarian.

The fiery activist spent 18 months in prison for reportedly harassing President Museveni’s family on social media but was released in February 2020 for lack of evidence.

This is just but one of the numerous times she has been behind bars for rubbing shoulders with the regime.

“I am an ex-prisoner, I have been in prison so many times, I do not know what freedom is. I identify myself as a prisoner, not because it is sexy, but because it speaks of the judicial failure in my country,” she said.

She criticized Uganda’s government for failing to provide the most basic services to its citizens and only focused on silencing the vocal who demand change.

Professor Luchiri Wajackoyah, whose law firm is representing the activist revealed that she crossed the Uganda-Kenya border “in disguise” to avoid detection by security agents.

He also added that her children too, are “in a safe house” in Nairobi.