Three days after security personnel arrested him, novelist Kakwenza Rukirabashaija was on September 21 charged and released on police bond.
His lawyers and political party Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) believed security had picked Rukirabashaija from his home in Iganga District over another book he has authored.
Titled ‘THE BANANA REPUBLIC, where writing is treasonous,’ Rukirabashaija’s book recounts the grim torture of how CMI arrested, detained and tortured him for seven days from Easter Monday [April 13, 2020].
It came after the ‘GREEDY BARBARIAN’ for which some believe he was arrested months earlier.
In May 2020, Iganga Chief Magistrates Court granted bail to Rukirabashaija after days of remand at Busesa for doing an act likely to spread the infection of a disease (Covid19 in this case) contrary to Section 171 of the Penal Code Act, Cap 120.
Prosecution had alleged that Rukirabashaija ‘unlawfully/negligently posted messages on his Facebook account mobilizing the public against complying with directives and public health guidelines issued to prevent the spread of Covid19, and knowing or having reason to believe that such actions would lead to further spread of Covid19, a disease dangerous to human life.’
Rukirabashaija is expected to report to the Special Investigations Directorate (SID) at Kireka on September 24.
Nakawa MP Michael Andrew Kabaziguruka, a member of the FDC party, stood surety for Rukirabashaija.
Main opposition leader Dr Kizza Besigye described Rukirabashaija’s release as “good news,” and thanked all activists, “especially, legal activists that acted swiftly,” but reminded them to “keep vigilant.”
His lawyer Eron Kiiza said his client had been beaten by Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) operatives who arrested him.
Earlier in the day, Kiiza of Kiiza and Mugisha Advocates had applied rushed to the Nakawa Magistrate’s Court seeking orders for the release of Rukirabashaija.
Kiiza wanted court to compel Attorney General William Byaruhanga, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Martins Okoth Ochola and SID Commandant Elly Womanya to release Rukirabashaija.
The author’s lawyers argued that Byaruhanga, Ochola and Womanya should release Rukirabashaija since he had been detained for more than the mandatory 48 hours.