By Spy Uganda
As if it has turned into an everyday song, the High court has once again issued orders to security agencies that have held novelist Kakwenza Rukirabashaija for weeks now without trial.
In a High Court sitting on Monday over the same saga, Justice Musa Ssekaana ordered the security agencies to without fail produce Kakwenza on Wednesday this week after orders of producing him on Monday didn’t yield any positive result.
In the same vein, Ssekaana ordered the commander of Special Forces Command (SFC) Brigadier General Peter Candia, the director of Criminal Investigations Directorate Grace Akullo, the Inspector General of Police Martins Okoth Ochola, and the Attorney General to explain why Kakwenza has been detained without trial, for now, two weeks.
The above orders came after a successful application by Kakwenza’s wife Eva Basima through her lawyers led by Eron Kiiza who told the court that their client has been in unknown detention and held incommunicado which is a violation of his rights.
Court has also heard that the Makindye grade one magistrate Irene Nambatya had ordered the Attorney General to unconditionally release Kakwenza but the government didn’t comply and therefore, Ssekaana based on this to issue another order for his production whether dead or alive.
Kakwenza’s lawyer Eron Kiiza says he has been denied access to his client and that he had been tortured while in custody.
“Police are fearing to produce him in court with torture marks, that’s why they are delaying to bring him to court,” he said.
Rukirabashaija has been repeatedly arrested since “The Greedy Barbarian” was published. He has said he was tortured while being interrogated by military intelligence about his work. At the time, he was accused of breaching Covid-19 social distancing rules, inciting violence and promoting sectarianism.
He described his time in detention as “inhumane and degrading” in his most recent book “Banana Republic: Where Writing is Treasonous”.
Meanwhile, in October 2021, Kakwenza was awarded as the winner of International Writer of Courage at the PEN Pinter Prize function. This annual award is normally presented to a person who has been persecuted for speaking out about their beliefs.