Kakwenza Rukirabashaija

The Buganda Road Magistrates Court has released Ugandan Novelist Kakwenza Rukirabashaija after spending two weeks in Kitalya Prison.

Kakwenza was arrested at Kisaasi 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.

Kakwenza 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.

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Through his lawyers led by Kiiza Eron, Kakwenza applied for bail on grounds that he is sick and therefore needs to seek medical attention.

Appearing before Magistrate Dr. Douglas Singiza, earlier today,  Kawenza was granted Shs 500,000 cash bail. His Sureties were however ordered to pay Shs 10 million noncash. Court barred him from discussing matters in the media. He has also been asked to deposit his passport for a period of 6 months and report back to Court on 1st February 2022.

Prosecution avers 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.