Kakwenza runs to exile

Novelist Kakwenza Rukirabashaija has gone into exile, his lawyer Eron Kiiza has confirmed.

In court, Kakwenza's application for his passport was denied on Monday

According to Kiiza, Kakwenza has gone through Rwanda and is reportedly on his way to Germany, Europe. The novelist reportedly feared that he might be poisoned if he stayed in the country.

On Monday afternoon, the Chief Magistrate of Buganda Road Court, Dr. Douglas Singiza ruled that Kakwenza’s health condition did not merit him travelling abroad for treatment. So, it appears, in a moment desperation, Kakwenza took matters into his own hands and left the country.

Previous to his fleeing, Images of his scarred and bruised body circulated on different media platforms, with Kakwenza stripped almost naked to expose the bodily harm he allegedly suffered while in detention due to torture.

The images of his bruised and battered body have turned the subject of torture into a hot button issue.

Medical reports presented by his lawyers in court from Nsambya Hospital revealed that he had blood clots under his nails, healing bruises all over his buttocks, back, thighs, and other body parts.

Presumably posting while in the sanitary distance of exile, Kakwenza wrote on Facebook that the magistrate was in cahoots with the oppressive regime and can now put the (Kakwenza”s) passport in his dock and try it, as he was not going to ever “face him again.”

Previously, Buganda Road Chief Magistrate, Dr. Douglas Singiza, had granted bail to Kakwenza.

The accused person has presented credible sureties some of whom are lawyers while others are political leaders of one of the political parties. Given the circumstances of this case, it is my considered view that it is not even necessary to consider expensive bail conditions in monetary terms. I therefore release the accused person on bail,” said in his ruling.

Accordingly, he ruled that Kakwenza pay shs500,000 in cash as bond and each of his sureties pay Shs 10million as a non-cash as bond.

Kakwenza was also directed by the judge to deposit his passport with the court for a period of six months as the hearing proceeds, adding that this ruling may be reviewed.

On December 28 last year, Kakwenza was arrested at his Kisaasi home for allegedly “disturbing the peace” of President Museveni and the Commander of Land Forces, Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba, through his twitter account.

The Leader of Opposition in Uganda’s parliament, Mathias Mpuuga, said he had visited Kakwenza when the novelist-activist was in jail and realised that he was tortured badly.

His fingernails have patches of blood caused by injuries he sustained during the torture sessions. He told me that the soldiers used a pair of pliers to pluck his fingernails and other body parts before being made to dance nonstop throughout the day and night,” Mpuuga said.

Although Kakwenza was out on bail, the bodily harm done to him was presumed to be grave.

Healing scars and other marks of torture covered his body as he slightly limped into the room where I was seated. He lowered his yellow mask to smile at me but I read pain written all over his face,” Mpuuga recalled after visiting Kakwenza in jail.

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