By Spy Uganda
Kampala: Writers and poets in Uganda have condemned the arrest of award-winning Ugandan author Kakwenza Rukirabashaija, who has been detained after he criticised President Yoweri Museveni’s son Lt.Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba.
The president of Uganda’s Poets Association Ronald Sekajja said that Kakwenza’s arrest was used to reinforce fear among writers, adding that it shows the government will not allow criticism, especially now that Muhoozi is considering standing for presidency.
Police spokesperson Fred Enanga said Kakwenza is being held on charges of offensive communication under the Computer Misuse Act.
“If anyone thinks it comes up as abuse or as insult, then charges need to be placed and they take him to face the law. I think our biggest concern as the writing community is the manner in which he is arrested and no charges are placed and he’s been in detention,” Mr Sekajja said.
According to sources, Kakwenza’s arrest came after his viral tweets that were ‘hitting’ military personalities, human rights violators and misusers of government resources.
According to his lawyer Eron Kiiza and close friends, currently they don’t know where Kakwenza is detained and security operatives have since denied his family members and lawyers access to him.
“Armed men claiming to be from the Uganda Police Force” broke into Kakwenza Rukirabashaija’s home on Tuesday, his lawyer Eron Kiiza said, adding that he had been on the telephone to his client at the time.
According to Kiiza, witnesses saw Kakwenza being bundled into a van known as a “drone”, which is associated with abductions of government opponents in Uganda.
In his last Facebook post before he was taken away on Tuesday, Kakwenza wrote: “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.”
Kakwenza won this year’s Pen Pinter Prize’s International Writer of Courage award.