Award winning satirical novelist Kakwenza Rukirabashaija has been kidnapped from Kitalya prison moments after being granted bail by Buganda Road Magistrate's court.
According to deputy lord mayor Doreen Nyanjura, has been whisked off to an unknown destination by men driving in a black tinted double cabin vehicle.
One of his lawyers, Samuel Wanda told The Observer that they had managed to deposit Kakwenza's passport in court as demanded earlier today by Buganda road magistrate, Douglas Singiza. Wanda said Kakwenza was picked by security men from the quarter guard inside Kitalya prison.
"The prison authorities asked us for the release order and we provided it to them because for us we can't be allowed to enter inside the prison, we were waiting from outside. When we provided it [release order] to them they went and after they came back to us asking if we're the ones driving a numberless double cabin. We said, no, how can we drive a numberless vehicle? Then they told us your prisoner has been kidnapped and is inside that vehicle," Wanda says.
"The soldiers we saw who were seated on top of the vehicle were not armed but we're not sure if the ones inside weren't armed. We don't know where they took him," he added.
Kakwenza who is accused of disturbing the peace of President Yoweri Museveni and his son Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba was arrested last year on December 28 from his home in Kisaasi, a Kampala suburb and held incommunicado until January 11, 2022, when he was produced in court on two charges of offensive communication.
Today, Buganda Road court granted Kakwenza a cash bail of Shs 500,000 and ordered him to deposit his passport for six months as well as barring him from speaking to the media about his case or experience in jail. Kakwenza is said to bear hallmarks of torture with his finger tops reportedly appearing bloody after they allegedly used pliers to pluck out his fingernails.
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 allegedly 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 and his son. He denied the charges.
His lawyers asked court to release him on grounds that he was sick having been tortured while in state custody. According to the lawyers, Kakwenza wants to get treatment at a medical facility of his choice because he suffered injuries on all the parts of his body except his head.