Despite government claims of a healthy and stable Kakwenza Rukirabashaija in detention, his lawyer Eron Kiiza has said the outspoken author of the book Greedy Barbarian has been tortured seriously.
The lawyer said his client has been tortured in the Special Forces Command military base in Entebbe where he has been held incommunicado since he was arrested from his apartment home in Kisaasi, a Kampala suburb on December 28 2021.
Kiiza said Kakwenza has been denied access to his lawyers, family and personal doctor or a chance to be presented in court.
“Kakwenza is in a pitiable condition as has been witnessed by the wife who was present during the guided search of his home conducted today, January 3 in Iganga. He is urinating blood, has swollen legs and blood stains proving that he was clearly tortured,” he said. Kiiza added, “After his home had been searched, Kakwenza was moved from one numberless car to another. They told the wife that he would be arraigned before Iganga Magistrate’s court only for him not to be produced there.”
Kiiza using his Twitter account shared photos of blood-stained clothes and a sheet believed to be Kakwenza’s proving the extent of the torture meted out on the author at the hands of security forces.
In their December 30 application to Makindye Chief Magistrates’ court, Eron Kiiza requested court to authorize Kakwenza’s release from police detention after the mandatory 48 hours of detention.
Speaking to the media, Police Crimes Investigations Division spokesperson Charles Twiine said Kakwenza had on several occasions used his Twitter account to belittle the person of the president and First Son and Commander of the Land Forces Lt. Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba.
He justified the author’s detention beyond the mandatory constitutional 48 hours, saying the courts had been closed for Christmas holidays.
“There’s no bad faith in having him detained beyond 48 hours. There is justification because the offices were not working yet the courts had to issue a search warrant. There was nothing like abuse of his rights,” Twiine added.
Twiine had earlier dismissed any allegations of torture and said lawyer Eron Kiiza was blinded to the truth by his activism.
On December 28, 2021, Kakwenza tweeted “currently under house arrest. Gunmen are breaking into my house by force.”
At around 4:20 pm, the plain-clothes armed men broke into his house before whisking him away in the infamous numberless drone cars.