By Ivan Mwine
Incarcerated author Kakwenza Rukirabashaija, who was remanded to Kitalya Mini-Maximum prison on January 11th, 2020, after he was abducted from his home in Kisaasi, a city suburb, by armed plain clothed men, was severely tortured while in detention.
The shocking revelation is contained inn a report that was submitted to Buganda Road court on Thursday by Dr. James Kisambu, on behalf of the Commissioner General for Prisons Dr. Johnson Byabashaija.
Kakwenza, who wrote controversial novel titled ‘The Greedy Barbarian’, was reportedly tortured during his arrest and detention by yet to be identified security agencies.
He was only produced in court, in the absence of his lawyers and relatives after court issued a Habeas Corpus to the Attorney General and heads of security agencies in Uganda and quickly remanded to Kitalya prison on charges of offensive communication and disturbing the peace of President Yoweri Museveni and his son Lt. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba.
When he was presented in court, the Chief Magistrate, Dr. Douglas Singiza, directed prison authorities to carry out a medical examination on Kakwenza’s health, hence the report that was authored by Dr. Kisambu, although Kakwenza appeared in court virtually via zoom.
Results of the examination indicate that the suspect was severely tortured and that the injuries on his body were consistent with torture.
“This medical examination found the 33-year-old male prisoner remanded at Kitalya min max prison on January 11 with complaints of healing scars of wounds sustained before being remanded to prison,” the report says in part.
“He also had healing scars on the back, the buttocks, thighs and hands for which he is on medication,” it continues.
However, in spite of his injuries, Kisambu insists inn his report that Kakwenza is ironically in “good health condition” and on medication to ensure that his health is on the mend.
It should be noted that Kisambu’s report follows a similar report compiled by the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) after visiting Kakwenza, which concluded that Kakwenza had endured torture at the hands of his captors.
“Yesterday UHRC visited Kakwenza Rukirabashaija at Kitalya Government Prison. The team from UHRC interacted with him extensively and noted the visible scars and injuries on his body which were healing. We look forward for a judicial resolution of his matter,” UNRC said earlier this week.
Kakwenza was abducted from his home on December 28th, 2021 by armed men who detained him incommunicado and tortured him for several days until his lawyer Eron Kiiza applied to court for his client to be produced before a judge whether dead or alive.
He was later taken by his abductors to his other home in Iganga District where his wife, who was there, got so horrified on seeing him weak, injured, limping and wearing bloodstained underwear.
She said she saw wounds on his feet and he told her there were others on his buttocks, and that he had been deprived of food.
“[He] told me he was starved, asked for what to eat, when I served him with a glass of milk, he vomited it,” Kakwenza’s wife said in an affidavit to court.