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Politicians, Human Rights Activists demand the immediate release of Author Kakwenza Rukira Bashaija


Politicians, Human Rights Activists demand the immediate release of Author Kakwenza Rukira Bashaija

The National Unity Platform Principal, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine has demanded the release of Author Kakwenza Rukirabashaija who was arrested from his house on Tuesday, by men claiming to be from the Uganda Police Force.

The PEN International Writer of Courage 2021 Award winner posted on social media at 4 PM on Tuesday that his rental home in Kisasi had been surrounded by gunmen who were trying to break in. He also noted that while the men identified themselves as officers from Uganda Police Force, they were not in any uniform.

“I’m under house arrest. Men with guns are breaking my door. They say they’re policemen but are not in uniform. I’ve locked myself inside” wrote Kakwenza before he was arrested.

The arrest was later confirmed by his lawyer Eron Kiiza who said today, that his client is being held at the Bukoto/Naguru Police facility in charge of crime intelligence. However, they were denied access to Kakwenza.

“We are at Bukoto Crime Intelligence (opposite police PSU). We are still being blocked from accessing our client Kakwenza Rukirabashaija” said Kiiza about one hour ago.

The NUP party president Kyagulanyi also took to social media to condemn Kakwenza’s arrest and demand for his release.

“Yesterday afternoon, author and political activist, comrade Kakwenza Rukirabashaija was yet again violently arrested by plain clothed operatives who broke into his house. For being critical of the Museveni regime in word and speech, this brother has faced the wrath of the regime a number of times, at one point being held in a safe house where he was gruesomely tortured. We are told he is being held in a safe house in Mbuya, for making critical comments about Gen. Museveni’s son. The regime continues to do such actions in order to silence opponents, but they are only emboldening more people to come out and raise voices against the repressive regime” said Kyagulanyi.

It remains unclear why Kakwenza was arrested. He is a known critic of the first family and was recently engaged in a social media backlash with supporters of the first son, Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba.

Many people believe that it was because of his tweets about the first son, that he was arrested, though police are yet to release an official statement about the same.

Kakwenza was first arrested in 2020 after publishing his fiction novel “The Greedy Barbarian”. During his detention, he was tortured, leading to the writing of his second novel, “The Banana Republic Where Writing is Treasonous”.

Kakwenza’s novels

A campaign has already started on social media, with his followers, fans, and Human Rights Advocates demanding his release under the #FreeKakwenza.

Sarah K. Biryomumaisho is a Multimedia journalist (Broadcast & Writing) with 11 years of experience. She holds a Diploma in Business Administration from Makerere Business Institute and a Certificate in Media Management from Women in News. She completed a Course in Wikimedia in 2020, making her one of the very few Wikipedia Editors in the country. She also has a certificate in Gender Justice Reporting from The International Women's Media Foundation, IWMF. She has worked with a number of media houses including 6 Radio stations, most recently Galaxy fm 100.2 & Radio 4. She has worked with Andariya Magazine as a writer. Sarah worked as a Digital Communications consultant for the newly revived Uganda Airlines and is also a Digital enthusiast. She owns a Media Organization called TheUgPost that publishes in Uganda and has a global reach. Twitter;

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