Uganda: Doctor’s Letter Shows Scale Of Kakwenza Rukirabashaija’s Torture

The obese general
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"Baby Doc", Gen. Kainerugaba, described as "obese" by leading Ugandan author Kakwenza Rukirabashaija

[View From Uganda]

Kakwenza Rukirabashaija was finally charged in court last Tuesday on bogus charges of “disturbing the peace” of Uganda’s dictator Gen. Yoweri Museveni and his son Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba over some tweets. 

It’s believed Kakwenza, author of “The Greedy Barbarian,” a novel about a corrupt African dictator, and “Banana Republic—Where Writing Is Treasonous,” earned the wrath of Papa Doc and Baby doc by referring to Kainerugaba as “obese.” 

There was nobody around to see how the scars from Rukirabashaija’s torture by the regime. One eyewitness said he looked like he had been “mauled” as he was arraigned before the Buganda Road Chief Magistrates Court.

Now the letter sent to Rukirabashaija’s lawyer, Eron Kizza by a prison doctor, Kisambu James, all but confirms that the writer, who’s also a columnist for Black Star News, was tortured. The letter is dated Jan. 20, 2022 but states that the medical examination was performed on Jan. 14, 2022 at Kitalya Mini Max Prison. “Found 33 years old male prisoner remanded at Kitalya Mini Max prison on January 11th, 2022 with complaints of healing scars of wounds sustained before being remanded to prison,” the letter states, referring to Rukirabashaija. Elsewhere, the letter adds: “He also had healing scars on the back, the buttocks, thighs and hands for which he is on medication.” 

Rukirabashaija was violently arrested on Dec. 28, 2021 from his home in Kisaasi, and wasn’t presented in court for several weeks, fueling reports that the regime wouldn’t produce him in public in order to allow the wounds from the torture to heal. 

At one point, it was reported by the Weekly Observer that his blood-soaked clothes were reportedly produced in court by his lawyer. Things were made worse when the regime ignored an order by the magistrates court in Makindye that the writer be released immediately since he’d been held beyond the 48 hours by which a citizen is required to be produced in court. 

Last week Monday, the High Court in Kampala issued an order directing the Special Forces Command commander, the Inspector General of Police, the Criminal Investigation Department director and Attorney General to produce the Kakwenza “dead or alive” on Jan. 12.

Rukirabashaija was surreptitiously brought to court in the morning hours on Tuesday and charged with two counts of offensive communication under the draconian section 25 of the Computer Misuse Act 2011.

“On December, 24, 2021, Kakwenza Rukirabashaija in the Kampala district willfully and repeatedly used his twitter handle to disturb the peace of his excellency the president of Uganda General Yoweri Museveni with no purpose of legitimate communicate,” the charge sheet read in part.

He was also accused of similar offenses uttered against the commander of the land forces and dictator Museveni’s man-child, Lt. Gen. Kainerugaba, between Dec. 26 and 28, 2021.

Afterwards, the writer was remanded to the notorious Kitalya prison. Gen. Museveni and his murderous thugs are violating Rukirabashaija’s rights and then blaming their own evils on him. 

This rape of justice reminds one of the infamous attack on the High Court by the “Black Mamba,” a regime death squad, on March 1, 2007. They were 25 armed men dressed in black t-shirts who forcefully re-arrested suspects charged with terrorism and treason charges. The regime claimed  they were behind the fictional People's Redemption Army rebels.

The co-defendants had all been ordered released on bail by the High Court. They had been charged along with Dr. Kizza Besigye, the well-known opposition leader and past presidential candidate. The regime is once again showing its contempt for the courts and the rule of law. 

Kakwenza is now a prisoner of conscience, his only crime being to call out the obesity of a bloated system of government in which nothing is spared when gobbling up the nation’s resources. This obesity, as Kakwenza rightly pointed out, is personified by the grossly overweight son of Gen. Museveni, Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba, or Baby Doc.

Kakwenza, as keen writer, saw a link between Baby Doc’s belly and the politics-of-the-stomach Museveni operates; he throws us the masses crumbs of the national cake which he’s greedily dividing up between himself and his family. 

The rest of us, well, we stand warned that we too shall be crushed like Kakwenza Rukirabashaija if we dare speak out. 

Columnist Matogo can be reached via 

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