Kakwenza Rukirabashaija
EC Village Verification

The European Union has called for the immediate release of Ugandan Novelist Kakwenza Rukirabashaija who was re-arrested moments after being released on bail.

Yesterday, the Buganda Road Magistrates Court released Kakwenza on bail after spending two weeks in Kitalya Prison. He was however re-arrested by armed men and is held at an unknown detention facility.

“We express our serious concern at the reports that Ugandan writer Kakwenza Rukirabashaija has been taken against his will by armed men and is again held in an unknown place of detention,” EU said.

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EU said such an action just hours after the magistrate ordered for his release on bail is a clear disrespect to the rule of law and the right of a Ugandan citizen to a fair trial. “Mr. Rwabashaija should be released immediately and we appeal to all parties concerned to ensure that the rule of law and due process are upheld in this and all cases in Uganda,” The EU said.

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 is facing two counts of offensive communication, contrary to Section 25 of the computer misuse act 2011.

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.