On December 28, plain clothed gunmen with hammers surrounded and broke into the residential house of Kakwenza Rukirabashaija, a renowned novelist and political activist in Kisaasi, a Kampala suburb.
They took him to an unknown destination.
The Nile Post could not readily establish the reason for Rukirabashaija’s arrest however, it is suspected that his troubles started with a tweet on December 27 that appeared to lampoon the first son, Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba who is also the commander of the Land Forces.
Muhoozi has humongous hips and breasts. He’s obese. How can a soldier who went to genuine military training and exercises everyday have such a sedentary figure? God punishes the corrupt in a good way with a badge of stupid figure.
— KAKWENZA RUKIRA (@KakwenzaRukira) December 27, 2021
Before he was taken, Rukirabashaija wrote: “I’m under house arrest. Men with guns are breaking my door. They say they’re policemen but are not in uniform. I’ve locked myself inside.”
Human rights activists and politicians have since condemned Rukirabashaija’s arrest and called for his immediate release.
Nicholas Opiyo, a human rights lawyer, noted that the “violent unlawful arrest” of Rukirabashaija by non-uniformed armed men was believed to be from the Crime Intelligence Unit of Police.
Leader of the Opposition, Mathias Mpuuga noted that the arrest of Rukirabashaija after breaking into his private home is most disturbing but not surprising, adding that many citizens have been arrested in similar fashion and disappeared permanently.
“But the arrest renders credence to his views of that deranged cabal! Keep your peace comrade, they will rest their troubles,”he said.
The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) president Patrick Oboi Amuriat called upon all freedom fighters and activists to search for the whereabouts of Kakwenza.
“We know he is a prisoner of conscience. We challenge the NRM government to give justice a chance, “he noted.
In April 2020, Rukirabashaija was detained for seven days after he authored a book, the Greedy Barbarian, a satirical novel about a fictional country that tackles themes of corruption and greed
He was announced this year’s winner of the PEN Pinter Prize for an International Writer of Courage award which goes to an author deemed to have fulfilled Harold Pinter’s aspiration to “define the real truth of our lives and our societies”.