Writer Kakwenza Rukirabashaija has vowed to continue criticising the government through his writings despite having spent weeks in detention for doing so.
Kakwenza was arrested on December 28, 2021 from his home in Kisaasi and detained at Kitalya prison over offensive communication.
Kakwenza was accused of using offensive offensive communication in his tweets to attack president Museveni and First son, also commander of land forces, Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba.
After spending nearly a month in detention, the key board warrior and also Museveni’s regime critic made his first public appearance as a free man on NTV where he narrated his prison ordeal.
Asked if he felt happy that he was finally a free man, Kakwenza said he was far from being happy. He said, despite being released, he’s yet to receive the freedom he deserves.
“I cannot say that I am happy to be released. Yes, I have been released, I can eat whatever I want, I can move anywhere I want but I am not happy because this is like getting half-baked freedom,” he said.
Kakwenza narrated that at Kitalya, he was subjected to torture which left him in a lot of pain all over his body including his ribs and the kidney which he said medics had informed him were damaged.
“I am in a lot of pain, body pain, psychological un-wellness, the PTSD. I cannot say that I’m really fine. I went to the hospital. Actually I didn’t go to one hospital. We’ve moved to several hospitals,” Kakwenza said.
He also revealed that the many hospitals he had gone to seeking treatment turned him away for fear of falling afoul the government while other doctors were afraid to issue him a medical report on his condition.
Despite his ordeal, Kakwenza said that he is not sorry for the tweets he sent out allegedly insulting the first son and he is ready to continue from where he stopped.
“Regret what?! I don’t regret anything. Why should I regret? I have a decent respect for the law. When you believe that someone has done wrong, arrest them in accordance with the law, produce them in court in accordance with the law and it is God to decide whether someone has done bad or it is God to decide,” the writer said.
Kakwenza did confess that he lives in fear for his life and his family because “unknown people” he suspects to work for state security agencies continue to trail him.
“Even when I left home, they started trailing me. I see them, they follow me everywhere I go. So, that makes me worried as as a husband, as a father. I worry about my family, I worry about my children,” he said.
On giving up on using a certain language against the government, Kakwenza vowed not to back down. He said he will continue using his talent to write whatever he wants regardless of the pain he had endured recently.
“Of course they didn’t cut off my hands, they didn’t cut off my head. I still have my hands, I still have my knowledge. So, I don’t see my self stopping whatever I do. I read a lot and any writer is a reader of course. So, anything I want, I will write,” Kakwenza vowed.