The High court in Kampala has directed government to produce novelist and government critic, Kakwenza Rukira Bashaija and explain why he has been in detention for more than the mandatory 48 hours.
Kakwenza, a political activist also the author of a book titled, The Greedy Barbarian, that criticises Uganda's first ruling family, was arrested on April 13, from his home in Iganga district allegedly by the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI). He is reportedly currently under military detention in Mbuya on charges of defamation and cyber-related crimes.
In the said book, Kakwenza writes about a greedy and incompetent dictator; Kayibanda who clings to power for 43-years. But later, Kayibanda’s property is nationalized, and he is succeeded by a new leader who appoints people on merit and eventually quits power - handing over successfully and peacefully.
The application was supported by Kakwenza’s family friend Watson Atukwasize who said he was informed by Kakwenza’s wife, Eva Basiima that her husband had been arrested.
Basiima says that at the time of his arrest, Kakwenza was asked to surrender his phones, national identification card and a laptop which he did before he was directed to dress up properly and head to Kampala.
"Subsequently, the applicant was arrested and bundled into a white car with a government number plate,” said Atukwasize in his affidavit.
High court judge, Esta Nambayo directed that the government and its security agencies produce Kakwenza before court on April 27. The order was directed at the attorney general, the inspector general of police, the chief of defense forces and the director is CMI.