Kabale, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Satirical novelist Kakwenza Rukirabashaija has fled the country.
Sources close to the writer told Uganda Radio Network that Kakwenza fled the country on Wednesday, reportedly through the Rwanda border.
His lawyer Samuel Wanda has indicated that Kakwenza will fly from Kigali International Airport to another African Country, said to be Malawi, where he will spend three days and then fly to Europe.
Wanda says that Kakewenza fled to seek treatment abroad after he failed to get his passport back.
How Rukirabachwezi reached Malawi without a passport 😜 pic.twitter.com/5LO8O6TrqO
— KAKWENZA RUKIRA (@KakwenzaRukira) February 9, 2022
I don’t know who this young boy is whom they say was beaten! I never heard of him until the media started talking about him. I’ve never met him or talked to him and I have no desire to do so. I have just been speaking to President @PaulKagame and he says he is not in Rwanda!!
— Muhoozi Kainerugaba (@mkainerugaba) February 9, 2022
Kakwenza was arrested on December 28, 2021, from his home in Kisaasi, a Kampala suburb, and held incommunicado until January 11, 2022, when he was produced in court on two cases of offensive communication.
According to the Prosecutors, Kakwenza used his Twitter handle @KakwenzaRukira to post a series of tweets about President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and his son Lt General Muhoozi Kainerugaba with no purpose of legitimate communication. In one of the tweets, Kakwenza refers to the President as an election thief and in another, he calls Muhoozi overweight and intellectually bankrupt.
The prosecutors argue that the communication was willfully and repeatedly used to disturb the peace of the president. He denied the charges.
He was later granted a cash bail of 500,000 Shillings. On Monday, the Buganda Road Chief Magistrates Court rejected Kakwenza’s request to have his passport returned to enable him to attend an event in Germany where he was to be recognized as an Honorary Member of Pen International.
Court presided over by the Chief Magistrate Dr. Douglas Singiza said that the award which Kakwenza wanted to go and pick from Germany as the reason to get back his passport can be presented to him online.
After his release, Kakwenza said that he was tortured by state operatives who injected him with substances in his feet and hands six times every six hours, being denied sleep, and made to dance with a jerrican full of water.
On Monday, the European Union-EU Delegation in Uganda called for a comprehensive investigation into the persistent torture cases and other human rights violations in the country.