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By Umaru Kashaka  

The Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) has said it is closely following the matter of detained novelist Kakwenza Rukirabashaija with the relevant authorities.

UHRC said today that whereas the Constitution bars it from investigating matters before court, it decided to follow this matter closely.

“We have received assurances that he (Kakwenza) will be produced in court soon,” UHRC said in a tweet.

The court magistrate, Irene Nambatya, ruled on January 4 (Tuesday) that Kakwenza be unconditionally freed.

She said every police officer should comply with her order.

Abused Museveni, Muhoozi
The Police said on Monday that Kakwenza, who is also a government critic, will be charged with offensive communication.
The spokesperson of the Criminal Investigations Directorate, Charles Twiine, said detectives completed their investigations on Monday.
He said this during a press conference at the Police headquarters in Naguru on Monday.

Twiine explained that on December 24, the 33-year-old Kakwenza, using his Twitter handle, repeatedly abused President Yoweri Museveni using words that were derogatory, abusive and belittling, without any purpose of legitimate communication.
He also said on December 26, Kankweza, through his Twitter handle, attacked Lt. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba, the First Son and Commander of Land forces, using the same derogatory, abusive and belittling words.

Twiine said Kankweza, who was taken into police custody on December 28, abused Muhoozi still without any legitimate purpose of communication.

“A civilized person cannot mention those words here.  It is so hurting; it is very bad. Abusing has no legitimate platform even socially in our different cultures and even legally. Even the most known opposition politicians here have not used some of these words,” he told journalists.
“You can challenge the system, you can challenge the method of work, but you can’t go personal. When you go personal, it becomes an offence. So this level of elusiveness and impunity is condemned,” Twiine noted.

He said they had already preferred charges of offensive communication as provided for under the Computer Misuse Act against Kakwenza.
“So this cannot be somebody expressing his opinion, no! This is a direct attack on an individual, which we condemn as a law enforcement agency, but also which we condemn as Africans,” Twiine said.

Kakwenza was in October 2021 named the International Writer of Courage at the PEN Pinter Prize ceremony. Ends

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