The Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) has confirmed that Novelist Kakwenza Rukirabashaija was subjected to torture while in prison.
“Yesterday, UHRC visited Kakwenza Rukirabashaija at Kitalya Government Prison. The team from UHRC interacted with him extensively and noted the visible scars & injuries on his body that were healing. We look forward to a judicial resolution of his matter,” the commission confirmed on their twitter account.
Kakwenza was arrested at Kisasi after a three days twitter feud with supporters of UPDF Land forces commander Muhoozi Kainerugaba. Kakwenza averred that Muhoozi’s supporters were allegedly bullying him for criticizing President Yoweri Museveni.
He was charged with two counts of offensive communication, contrary to Section 25 of the computer misuse act 2011. The Lawyer pleaded not guilty and subsequently remanded to Kitalya prison till 21st January 2022.
Prosecution averred that Kakwenza on 24th December 2021 in the Kampala District, willfully and repeatedly used his Twitter handle to commit cases of offensive communication against the President of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and the first son Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba, with no purpose of legitimate communication.
Rukirabashaija is the author of the novel The Greedy Barbarian, which takes on themes of high-level corruption in a fictional country. He was arrested on 13 April 2020 in Uganda, and held for seven days, during which time he was interrogated about his fiction and subjected to torture and later released. Rukirabashaija details this treatment in his latest work Banana Republic: Where Writing is Treasonous.