World, Africa

Award-winning Ugandan novelist charged with communications offenses

Kakwenza Rukirabashaija remanded in custody until Jan. 21

Godfrey Olukya   | 11.01.2022
Award-winning Ugandan novelist charged with communications offenses FILE PHOTO


An award-winning Ugandan novelist Kakwenza Rukirabashaija has been charged with communications offenses for comments he made on social media regarding the president's son.

Rukirabashaija was arrested on Dec. 28 by police for “insulting” President Yoweri Museveni's son Lt. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba on Twitter. He called Kainerugaba "obese" and a "curmudgeon."

Museveni, 77, has been in power since 1986, and talk has long swirled that he is grooming his eldest son, who occupies a significant position in the military, to succeed him.

Rukirabashaija had not been brought to court since his arrest until Tuesday, prompting criticism from human rights organizations and lawyers. According to the country’s constitution, no suspect may be detained for more than 48 hours without a trial.

The chief magistrate in Kampala ordered police to bring him to his court twice while he was detained, but police did not proceed. to protest the government for illegally keeping him

He was remanded on Tuesday and is expected to be brought to court again on Jan. 21.

Rukirabashaija was named international writer of courage by PEN last year.

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