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Kakwenza Rukirabashaija Author Giving Museveni Sleepless Nights

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What goes on around Uganda and among Ugandans is not a secrete- new comers only need to listen to local music, talk on streets and a quick chat with Ugandans to understand this country.

In any Ugandan local music, there are messages on concerns of endemic corruption, excesses by security officers, thuggery, brutality and limited freedoms especially when one isn’t singing along with the regime.

For example, you may get arrested for just saying you aren’t supportive of the first son Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba seeking election as president of Uganda even though he has not officially declared any interest.

For a doctor protesting on the street seeking pay rise leads to arrest and detention including termination from employment.

But there is a Ugandan creative novelist Kakwenza Rukirabashaija- this man authored a simple book narrating daily life of Ugandans. The book titled ‘The Greedy Barbarian’ prompted military intelligence agents to pluck him out of his house and dumped him into an unventilated filthy detention dungeon.

Rukirabashaija has suffered horrendous torture including burning, removal of his nails and going hungry for days plus beating all because his narrative stories decry of the ugly life under the President Yoweri Museveni regime.

The novel The Greedy Barbarian, which takes on themes of high-level corruption in a fictional country. He was arrested on 13 April 2020 in Uganda, and held for seven days, during which time he was interrogated about his fiction and subjected to torture.

Later on Rukirabashaija relased another book titled Banana Republic: Where Writing is Treasonous. He was arrested and charged with “inciting violence and promoting sectarianism”.

According to Rukirabashaija, “In Africa, when you write fiction, especially political fiction, such as the political allegory Animal Farm by George Orwell, the leaders will always think that one is writing about them. Of course, every dictator will suspect that the writer meant to embarrass him,” Rukirabashaija wrote.

“Yoweri Museveni, the president of Uganda, felt that it was him that I had written about and so he sent his hoodlums to arrest and torture me in order to hamper my creativity. The idea was to completely stop me from being creative.”

Towards the end of December, Rukirabashaija was again arrested without charge for alleged offensive communication.

Rukirabashaija’s lawyer Eron Kiiza says the author is being held at a hidden interrogation facility in Kampala.

“They are claiming he made some offensive communication. They are not giving us details of those. So, they are charging him with offensive communication. Of course, we know him and the first son have had some exchange on Twitter,” Kiiza said.

Rukirabashaija on Twitter called Museveni’s son, Lt. General Muhoozi Kainerugaba, obese, drunk, bad-tempered for a future president.

“Men with guns are breaking my door,” he wrote. “They say they are policemen but are not in uniform. I’ve locked myself inside.”

Kainerugaba seemed to take credit for the arrest. He posted on Twitter, “I want the arrest of Kakwenza Rukira (Rukirabashaija) to be a lesson to all those who think they can abuse me on social media and walk away scot free.”

Last year, Rukirabashaija was named the International Writer of Courage by Tsitsi Dangarembga a Zimbabwean writer and activist. She chose Rukirabashaija as (2021 PEN Pinter winner ) the International Writer of Courage, an award for an author who has been persecuted for speaking out about their beliefs, with whom she will share her prize.

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National

Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania Conduct Progress Tour at Rusumo Falls Dam

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Emmanuel Gasana the Governor  of Rwanda’s Eastern Province together with the Regional Commissioner Kagera Region (Tanzania) and the Governors of Kirundo and Muyinga Provinces of Burundi on Tuesday jointly visited the Regional Rusumo Falls Hydroelectric Project’s to see the progress of the works set to complete this year 2022.

The Regional Rusumo Falls Hydroelectric Project was launched on the 30th, March, 2017 with an installed capacity of 80 MW (Run of River Scheme at 1320masl) that will be shared equally among Burundi, Rwanda and Tanzania.

The transmission lines will extend from the power generation plant to Gitega in Burundi, Kigali in Rwanda, and Nyakanazi in Tanzania.

This project will develop renewable hydroelectric power as part of a broader program to support sustainable management of the Kagera River Basin and promote growth and poverty reduction.

The project upon completion will facilitate increased economic activities, private sector development, and investments in social infrastructure and services through improved access to electricity.

The project is worth US$340Million and US$128Million that have advanced to the countries as a loan from the World Bank and African Development Bank for the implementation of the Regional Rusumo Falls Hydroelectric project and the Power transmission lines respectively.

The Regional Rusumo Falls Hydroelectric Project (RRFP) is a hydropower project under joint development by the Governments of Republic of Burundi, Republic of Rwanda and United Republic of Tanzania through a commonly owned Rusumo Power Company (RPCL).

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National

Uganda Spy Chief Gen. Kandiho Fired, Sent To Juba

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President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda has summarily fired his spy chief Maj.Gen Abel Kandiho and sent him to neighbouring South Sudan as Uganda’s envoy. Maj. Gen.James Burungi has been appointed to the helm of Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) .

Discussions between President Paul Kagame and Lt.Gen. Muhoozi Keinerugaba could have led to Kandiho’s exit from the prestigious powerful spy chief docket in Uganda.

Kandiho has featured in various reports linking him presiding  over the arbitrary arrest, torture and cruel treatment of Rwandans on Uganda soil and most of whom have died, suffered gross injuries and gradually dumped at the border.

The good old days when Kigali and Kampala enjoyed warm sisterly relations completely ended during the burgeoning reign of Kandiho that had catapulted the chieftaincy of military intelligence (CMI) into a much feared intelligence agency openly supporting the Rwandan enemies especially Rwanda National Congress, the FDLR and other insignificant Rwanda enemy cells in Uganda.

Kandiho’s departure reflects what President Kagame may have candidly presented to Gen. Muhoozi has Rwanda’s concerns to Kampala establishment.

However, an individuals departure from the helm of Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) may not be enough for Kigali as proof of improved relations because the shuffling at CMI has been regular yet the sufferings of Rwandans in Uganda has not subsided.

Uganda Spy Chief Kandiho Secretly Meets Kayumba Nyamwasa

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National

Kagame Officially Opens African Air Chiefs Symposium

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The 11th annual African Air Chiefs Symposium (AACS) has officially kicked off in Rwanda’s capital Kigali.

President Paul Kagame arrived at Kigali Convention Centre to officiate the opening ceremony. Rwanda is hosting the AACS symposium in partnership with the US Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces in Africa.

Organisers say the symposium will run from 24 to 28 January.

This symposium aims at creating a forum for Air Chiefs from across the African continent to come together to address regional and continental issues, enhance relationship and increase cooperation among African Air Forces.

The main function of the Association of African Air forces is to assemble and advocate for partnerships between Air forces on the continent.

The AACS operates with the support of the United States Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces in Africa (USAFE-AFAFRICA).

The annual African Air Chief Symposium enables the networking and liaison between Air forces in achieving the objectives of the Association.

Since its establishment in 2015, the Association of African Air Forces has been very instrumental in providing a forum for members to multilaterally discuss common security challenges, the Rwandan Ministry of Defence stated.

Air Forces Africa hopes a conference with 30 partner nations will shrink the distance by building trust to work together in areas such as shared airlift.

The last two in-person events were cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s event is taking place under heavy COVID restrictions because in a continent plagued by terrorist threats and widely divergent capabilities, relationships matter.

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