Kakwenza Rukirabashaija, a human rights lawyer and political activist famed for his anti-regime authorship, ‘The Greedy Barbarian’ has issued a note explaining how the CMI operatives rounded up his Iganga home on Easter Monday, 13 April.
The lawyer says he was resting in his bedroom when unknown individuals wildly knocked at the gate of his residence. The loud yells and impatient knocking forced the house help to go and open, only to see gloomy faced gun wielding plain clothed individuals who declined to identify themselves and asked for the whereabouts of their prey. He adds that, the house help froze in shock and rushed off to warn his wife who was ironing clothes in the living room. No sooner had she arrived to alert Mrs. Kakwenza than the gunmen plunged into his bedroom and asked his half-naked self clad in a towel to dress up and follow them. “Do you want to be taken like that or we let you dress up?,” asked one of the arresting officers who identified as a CMI detective.
The lawyer adds that he opted to dress up after being told he was needed for a small interrogation. “I was allowed to dress up, guarded by two officers while others packed my computer, phone and national ID in the bag,” reads an excerpt from the lawyer’s note.
The lawyer was then dragged into a waiting number less van which frequent most of similar political arrests. He says on entry into the van, he was chained and blindfolded by his captors. His efforts to plead for a word with his lawyers fell on deaf ears. “I asked them for my phone to call a lawyer and they told me that I was wanted dead or alive,” reads another part of the note.
He was then led to the regime torture point of Mbuya where he was kept incommunicado. The lawyer says while in custody, he was subjected to torture by beatings that heavily damaged his ankles. After about a couple of days, they brought him back to his Iganga residence to gather more ‘evidence’ of his authorships. “They threatened that if I tell my wife or let her see me limping, they’d kill me,” the lawyer recounts. The author’s lawyers led by Eron Kiiza filed for habeas corpus (production warrant) which forced the CMI to produce him at the Iganga magistrates court
His release occurred weeks later on May, 5 at the Iganga magistrates court which granted him bail on the request of human rights lawyer, Eron Kiiza.
Rukirabashaija Kakwenza is the author of “The Greedy Barbarian”, a book that talks about a fictional character, Kayibanda who migrates into a foreign land with his mother. The duo are welcomed into the new land but later Kayibanda goes against the host community and rules it for 43 years of aggravated violence and human rights violations on the people of the land. The fictional events are an imitation of the leadership of the incumbent Ugandan despot, Yoweri Museveni which is why the CMI arrested the author and subjected him to torture for mocking the head of state. His arrest and torture sparked condemnation from the Amnesty international and the European Union mission in Uganda.