The Chief Magistrates Court in Makindye has ordered for the unconditional release of novelist, Kakwenza Rukirabashaija from any detention.
Arrested on December 28 from his home in Kisaasi, a Kampala suburb, Kakwenza has been in security detention for more than a week, prompting his lawyers to file an application for unconditional release.
In the application in which the Attorney General was listed as the respondent and filed on December 30, the lawyers led by Eron Kiiza, Luyimbazi Nalukoola and Samuel Wanda said Kakwenza had been arrested violently by a joint security team of plain clothed operatives from the Police Crime Intelligence Directorate, Criminal Investigations Division and Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence and that since his arrest, he has been detained at an unknown facility.
The lawyers argued that having been held incommunicado with none of his lawyers, family and friends allowed to access him and that it is beyond the stipulated 48 hours, it is only prudent that court orders for his unconditional release.
The Makindye grade one magistrate, Irene Nambatya reasoned with Kakwenza’s lawyers that he had spent more than the stipulated 48 hours and that he should be released unconditionally.
“It is hereby ordered that the applicant be unconditionally released from police custody. Every police officer should comply with the above order and no order as to costs,” Nambatya ordered.
Earlier, Kakwenza’s lawyers had indicated that they will push court to ensure their client is released at the earliest time possible.
“He must be released now and it is what we want to tell court. He was arrested and it is only yesterday that police came out to say they have him which is contrary to what the constitution provides,” Luyimbazi Nalukoola told journalists.
“Court gave us Friday but we have realized that the day is very far when one’s rights are being infringed. We are making a humble prayer before court that the date is brought nearer and we can be heard and he is released.”
The Police Criminal Investigations Division spokesperson, Charles Twiine told journalists on Monday that Kakwenza is accused of offensive communication stemming from his social media posts in which he belittled President Museveni and First Son, also Commander of Land Forces in the UPDF, Lt Gen David Muhozi.