By PATRICK JARAMOGI
KAMPALA, Uganda |SHIFTMEDIA| The “poor man’s freedom fighter’, veteran journalist Daniel K Kalinaki earlier this week wrote that “Those in, or seeking power will find that a thick skin comes in quite handy.”
Kalinaki was concerned when he wrote in the Daily Monitor about the continued detention without trial of Rukirabashaija Kakwenza, the 33-year-old novelist who has so far been arrested a couple of times for his satire.
“Good leaders know that power ought to be exercised with restraint and responsibility; they don’t torture people who say things they do not like. They ignore the shit and smell the flowers,” wrote Kalinaki.
A week down the road since Kakwenza Rukirabashaija was arrested deep in the night at his Kisaasi residence, he is yet to be charged in courts of law.
Security Defies court orders
On Tuesday, January 4, 2022, Her Worship Irene Nambatya the Makindye Chief Magistrate’s Court Grade one magistrate issued an order directing the government to unconditionally release Kakwenza.
This was on grounds that Kakwenza had been in detention for more than the mandatory 48 hours without being arraigned in court which violates his constitutional right to liberty and fair hearing.
Even though the court ordered that “The Greedy Barbarian author and PEN Pinter International Writer of Courage prize winner be released unconditionally, he remains held incommunicado.
Seeing no respect to the court orders, and not feeling downtrodden, Eva Basiima, the wife to Kakwenza has now dragged the Special Forces Command (SFC) Boss Brig. Gen. Peter Candia to court for detaining her husband without trial.
Also dragged to court are Grace Akullo the Director of Criminal Investigations Directorate, John Martins Okoth Ochola the Inspector General of Police, and the Attorney General.
In the suit filed at the Civil Division of the High, Eva Basiima argues that her husband was arrested from their other home in Kisaasi, Nakawa Division in Kampala by armed officers last week, and he has since remained inaccessible.
Basima notes that she only got a chance to see her hubby last Monday when plain-clothed men and armed SFC soldiers drove him to their upcountry home in Iganga district, eastern Uganda to conduct a house search for three hours.
In the suit that Basiima filed through her lawyers Nalukoola, Kakeeto Advocates and Solicitors, and Kiiza and Mugisha Advocates, she observed that Kakwenza looked tortured and wore the same clothes he had when he was arrested a week ago.
“He was limping, had a blood-stained vest and underwear, and hadn’t brushed nor bathed for a week,” she noted.
Police speaks out
Earlier this week the CID spokesperson Charles Twiine told the press that Kakwenza was arrested over allegations of insulting the first son Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba when he called him ‘obese’ on Twitter.
Twitter has since suspended Kakwenza’s account for what it describes as violations of its rules.
This is not the first time Kakwenza is being arrested, he was arrested in 2020 from his Iganga home when he authored the Novel “The Greedy Barbarian”. In the Novel, Kakwenza wrote about a dictator, Kayibanda who has clung to power for over 43 years.
After weeks in custody at Mbuya Military barracks, he was charged with committing an act likely to spread Covid 19.
After his release, he penned another venomous piece, titled “The Banana Republic” where he exposed how he was tortured by the CMI agents during his custody. This earned him another arrest.
Police blocks activists at Human Rights offices
There was a standoff on Thursday, January 5 2022 as police battled with scores of activists who were protesting the continued detention without trial of Kakwenza.
The group of human rights activists were heading to present their petition to the Uganda Human Rights Commission over the continued detention of novelist Kakwenza Rukirabashaija.
Scores of activists had their placards torn off by police deployed at the premises in Naguru, a Kampala suburb, while one was arrested in the melee.
The one arrested and detained at Jinja Road police station was identified as Namatta Nnaana.