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    HomeNewsUnraveling Mysteries: Kakwenza's Journey across Borders without a Passport

    Unraveling Mysteries: Kakwenza’s Journey across Borders without a Passport

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    Kakwenza Rukirabashaija, a Ugandan novelist and lawyer born on October 1, 1988 and his writtings has earned him many stances of recognition. These includes, “The Greedy Barbarian” and “banana republic: Where Writing is Treasonous”. His satirical writing has earned him recognition, including the prestigious English PEN 2021 Pinter International Writer of Courage Award.

    Two years have elapsed since the renowned Ugandan author Kakwenza Rukirabashaija fled from Uganda. A legal practitioner, advocate for freedom, and skilled poet, Kakwenza attained global acclaim when one of his literary works secured the prestigious accolade for outstanding writers worldwide.

    He fled Uganda, purportedly passing through Rwanda en route to Germany, where he remains to this day.

    Among his literary works are “Greedy Barbarian,” “Banana Republic,” and “Savage Avenger,” which allegedly led to his frequent detentions and mistreatment by Ugandan authorities. Law enforcement apprehended him and coerced him into elucidating the content of his writings.

    On April 13th, 2021, Kakwenza faced arrest subsequent to publishing his book titled “Greedy Barbarian,” which authorities in Uganda deemed as targeting and defaming certain leaders. Although initially freed, he was once more detained on September 18th, 2021, by security forces following the release of his subsequent work, “Banana Republic where writing is deemed treasonous.”

    Kakwenza Rukirabashaija, upon his release from incarceration, immediately denounced the Ugandan authorities, alleging that he had been subjected to torture in clandestine detention facilities.

    Subsequently, he resumed his online activism via various social media platforms, including Twitter. However, on December 28, 2021, he was apprehended on charges related to sharing inappropriate quotations and directing insults towards the President of Uganda and his eldest son, Muhoozi Kainerugaba.

    “He’s alleged that on 24th, Rukirabashaija using his twitter handle without any purpose of legitimate communication, repeatedly abused the president” police spokesperson Enanga said.

    Kakwenza initially endured imprisonment in undisclosed locations, but eventually faced charges in court. During his trial, he recounted being subjected to severe torture by security personnel.

    “I suffered brutal beatings, torture, and mockery at the hands of the security forces. I am constantly gripped by intense fear; at times, merely encountering an army officer makes me want to flee. Even when I’m driving and spot a drone, I feel compelled to abandon my vehicle,” Kakwenza revealed.

    He recounted being drugged while in the safe houses, stating, “The medical report indicates numerous bodily issues. It’s unclear whether I was poisoned, as they administered injections every six hours along with seventeen tablets and capsules. I’m unsure of the substances they injected, so I need to seek medical attention in either Germany, USA, or Canada.”

    During his time in the safe houses, he encountered government officials who attempted to convince him to cease his writing endeavors. They urged him to retract his statements and issue an apology.

    “I knelt down and I apologized though I apologized on gunpoint, it was not from my heart, but it was lipsticked but not a real apology from me, Kakwenza added.

    During that time, he expressed that his family experienced a pervasive sense of anxiety. He recounted how his children pleaded with their mother to enroll them in boarding schools out of concern. Consequently, he was granted bail by the court, yet when he requested his passport from the judge, it was denied. His intention was to travel to Germany to collect the prestigious Pen Penta International award, which he had earned as the top writer of 2021.

    He explained to the court the importance of obtaining complete medical treatment in Germany for the injuries he sustained.

    He mentioned that the judge declined to return his passport, indicating a possible alliance between the judge and the individuals who subjected him to torture.

    The court’s unexpected response was that Kakwenza would receive adequate medical treatment for all his required medications in Uganda, a proposition Kakwenza strongly opposed.

    In a swift turn of events, the media was taken aback by the news of Kakwenza’s departure from Uganda and his subsequent journey to Germany via Rwanda.

    Currently, the prevailing question on everyone’s lips pertains to the method by which Kakwenza successfully evaded capture and made his way to Germany despite lacking his passport.

    It was astonishing! Not even his legal advisors were aware of the expedition. In spite of all the challenges he endured, he recommitted himself to documenting the atrocious methods of torture in Uganda and the poor governance prevalent in the country.

    “I am going to write more books even I have one in my head about this previous torture. I still have my hands, I still have my brains I have my knowledge so no one can stop me from writing what I want to write against injustice, against impunity, he says.

    Recently Kakwenza in an exclusive interview with American channel news called the Voice of America, he explained what made him ran away from Uganda. “I decided to leave the country illegally so as to get medical attention,” Kakwenza lamented.

    On Voice of America, when questioned about the allegations of impunity and brutal forms of torture, Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni stated that while he was aware of the reports, investigations into the matter were ongoing.

    Currently, Kakwenza’s legal team remains unconvinced about his return to Uganda, citing that it ultimately depends on his willingness to come back. Meanwhile, in Germany, Kakwenza continues to utilize his platforms to denounce the oppressive Ugandan government and its cruel methods of torture.

    Currently, the cartoonist continues to highlight and expose corrupt sectors within the Ugandan government. Most recently, Kakwenza has been depicting individuals involved in the mabaati scandals, where roofing materials intended for distribution in Karamoja were instead misappropriated. It’s in this context that Kakwenza has coined the moniker “Mabaati thief” for Annet Anita Among, the Speaker of the Ugandan Parliament.

    Presently, he is accompanied by Jim Spire, a fellow university educator who also dabbles in cartooning. Spire took the lead in organizing the “Kampala Pothole exhibition” in Kampala. However, Spire’s journey is far from over, and it remains uncertain whether he is aware of or has familiarized himself with Kakwenza’s plight.

    Might be he learnt nothing and forgot nothing about Kakwenza’s ugly forms of torture!

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