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Ugandan Court Issues Arrest Warrant For Exiled Author Kakwenza

2 Min Read

Ugandan creative novelist Kakwenza Rukirabashaija currently in exile is a candidate for arrest according to local media reports.

“Buganda road court has issued an arrest warrant for Kakwenza Rukirabashaija for absconding. Kakwenza’s four sureties have also been summoned by court to appear on the 11th April to explain his whereabouts or pay the ten million shillings each was bonded,” a local source said.

About a month ago, the award-winning Ugandan author Kakwenza arrived in Germany, ending a months-long ordeal during which he reported being tortured in jail.

According to other media reports, Ugandan authorities had taken his passport, but Rukirabashaija was able to slip out of Uganda by walking to neighbouring Rwanda. He then entered a third, unnamed country before the UN refugee agency facilitated his travel to Europe.

“I’m being persecuted for being a thinker. Uganda hates thinkers, so I’m being punished,” the 33-year-old novelist told Germany based media house DW.

One of his controversial novel’s The Greedy Barbarian, takes on themes of high-level corruption in a fictional country. His first arrest came shortly after the book was published. Rukirabashaija said he was also brutally beaten during that stint in prison, but eventually he was released.

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

His most recent arrest came in late December 2021. He was held for several weeks without charges, prompting an international outcry, particularly from the European Union and the United States.

In early January, Rukirabashaija was charged with “offensive communication” relating to social media posts insulting President Yoweri Museveni.

Asked if he would ever return to Uganda, the author told DW that “Uganda is my country, my motherland.. I think after getting medication and the doctor tells me I’m fit for returning, I’ll go back to my country.”

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