By Charles Etukuri
The Solicitor General has written to the Chief Magistrate Makindye Court indicating that the Attorney General was dissatisfied with the ruling by Grade One Magistrate Irene Nambatya ordering the release of novelist Kakwenza Rukirabashaija and wants access to copies of the file to take appropriate action.
A letter, dated January 6, 2022 signed by Christine Kaahwa on behalf of the Solicitor General, indicated that “On January 3, 2022 we were served with an exparte application, seeking among others that the Kakwenza be unconditionally released from police custody or detention.
“The application was heard or determined by Her Worship Irene Nambatya who on January 4, 2022 issued an exparte order to the Attorney General to unconditionally release Kakwenza from police custody.”
The Solicitor General noted that the Attorney General being dissatisfied with the orders of the trial magistrate, “therefore requests that you urgently avail the Attorney General with a certified copy of proceedings, ruing and order to enable us take appropriate action.”
Nambatya issued the release order on Tuesday following an application by Kakwenza’s lawyers Eron Kiiza, Nalukoola Luyimbazi, and Samuel Wanda who demanded his unconditional release.
On Thursday, the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) said they could not investigate the Kakwenza matter because they were barred by the Constitution from investigating cases before court.
“Whereas Article 53(4)(a) of the Constitution bars us from investigating matters before Court, we are following the matter of Kakwenza closely with the relevant authorities. We have received assurances that he will be produced in Court soon,” the commission said in a statement after human rights activists said they would petition it over Rukirabashaija’s continued detention beyond the mandatory 48 hours.
UHRC said, “The commission shall not investigate any matter which is pending before a court or judicial tribunal.”
Criminal Investigations Directorate Spokesperson Charles Twine on Monday said Kakwenza was arrested on December 28, 2021 on charges of offensive communication after he allegedly posted a series of belittling, derogatory and abusive tweets about President Yoweri Museveni and his son, Lt. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba (Commander of Land Forces).