Uganda: Dictator Museveni’s Son, Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba, Reported to Have Directed Author Kakwenza’s Torture

Gen. Muhoozi
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Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba. He reportedly went ballistic after author Rukirabashaija referred to him as "obese" in a tweet leading to his arrest and torture. Photo: Facebook. 

[The View From Uganda]

The Ugandan dictator Gen. Yoweri Museveni’s son Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba personally directed the torture of author and PEN International honoree Kakwenza Rukirabashaija, according to well-informed sources. 

Gen. Kainerugaba was also present when Rukirabashaija was beaten by security forces last week in an attempt to get him to sign a confession, according to the sources. The dictator’s son is taking an increasing role in governing the country. He is also commander of the Uganda armed forces land forces. 

Meanwhile, Rukirabashaija will reportedly be released on bail on Tuesday. He was arrested by armed men in civilian attire on Dec. 28. The state denied a judge’s order that he be released unconditionally. Early last week he was charged with “disturbing the peace” of both Gen. Museveni and Gen. Kainerugaba through his tweets. 

Rukirabashaija is the PEN International 2021 Writer of Courage awardee. He is the author of "The Greedy Barbarian" a novel about a corrupt African dictator, which earned him arrest and torture in 2020. His next book was "Banana Republic--Where Writing is Treasonous" detailing his torture after writing the novel. He was also arrested and tortured after his second book came out. 

The author’s arrest has been widely condemned internationally. PEN International issued statements calling for his unconditional release. Rukirabashaija is also a columnist for New York-based Black Star News and the U.S. State Department issued a statement calling for the government to stop harassing the writer, in addition to journalists, opposition party leaders, and human rights activists. 

After the beating last week by security agents to try to extract a confession, Gen. Kainerugaba reportedly told the writer: “I love you Kakwenza and learn something from you every day. I have no problem with you.” He also told the writer never to “disturb” his peace again, the well-placed source said.

The medical examination of Rukirabashaija, by Dr. James Kisambu, on behalf of the Uganda Prisons, dated Jan. 20, 2022 in part states: “This medical examination found the 33-year-old male prisoner remanded at Kitalya min max prison on January 11 with complaints of healing scars of wounds sustained before being remanded to prison…” The report adds, “He also had healing scars on the back, the buttocks, thighs and hands for which he is on medication.”

Separately, the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) after visiting Rukirabashaija, said, “The team from UHRC interacted with him extensively and noted the visible scars and injuries on his body which were healing. We look forward for a judicial resolution of his matter…”

Columnist Matogo can be contacted via [email protected]

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