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Who Is Kakwenza Rukirabashaija, The Arrested Novelist?

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Kakwenza Rukirabashaija is renowned Ugandan satirical novelist belonging to the PEN Writers who became famous following the release of his book “The Greedy Barbarian.”

The book speaks of a fictional country that is characterized by deep rooted corruption. Shortly after he published his first book, Kakwenza was arrested for the first time in April 2020 when he was tortured for a week before his release.

Later the same year, in September 2020, Kakwenza was once again arrested. Upon his release, he wrote about “Banana Republic: Where Writing Is Treasonous” which is a detailed narrative of what he experiences while he is behind the coolers.

Towards the end of last year, on the 28th of December 2021, Kakwenza was once again incarcerated following a series of tweets in which he attacks the head of state, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and his son, Lt. Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba.

Following his posts on his twitter handle, the novelist was first put under house arrest before he was picked from his home by an array of soldiers. A week later, he appeared at his Iganga based residence which according to his wife, Eva Basiima was a sorrowful time considering all the wounds and scares on his body.

Once information linked about Kakwenza’s ill-health condition, it attracted activism moves from all corners of the country. Human rights activist Stellah Nyanzi even wrote a letter in which she offered s*x in exchange for Kakwenza.

The Forum for Democratic Change also joined in the fight alongside Ugandan Writers’ association both to which Kakwenza belongs while trying to fight advocate for his release from the cells.

His wife, Eva Basiima petitioned to the High Court for the release of her husband and she was meant to have appeared in court while advocating for the release of her husband from the coolers.

A day after, on the 11th of January, Kakwenza was remanded to Kityala prison on grounds of miscommunication. As we await for the final judgement, the case goes on of Kakwenza Rukirabashaija Vs the State.

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