Critical book writer, Kakwenza Rukirabashaija has dragged government to court accusing its agents of torturing him during and after his arrest last year.
Kakwenza was in April arrested by operatives from the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence and went missing for a number of days, prompting court to order the state produce him dead or alive.
Consequently, he was arraigned before the Iganga Magistrates court and charged with doing an act likely to spread the infection of a disease contrary to section 171 of the Penal Code Act.
In a suit before the civil division of the High Court in Kampala filed on Monday, Kakwenza says he is the author of “The Greedy Barbarian” adding that on April,30, 2020, military men some in full combat and other in civilian clothes with CMI identity cards arrested him from his home at Bysei A village, Buseyi parish, Nakalama subcounty in Iganga district .
“The military men blindfolded and drove me to an initially unknown destination I later learned from other detainees as Mbuya Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence headquarters. On Wednesday, April ,15, 2020, my captors briefly rushed me to my Iganga home where they searched my house and confiscated more of my properties including laptop charger and a copy of my book,”Kakwenza says in his affidavit.
According to court documents, at Mbuya, he suffered solitary detention in a toilet in the dark dungeons for five days until April 18 when he was “dragged” together with three other inmates to Special Investigations Division in Kireka.
“On Tuesday, April 14, the CMI operatives hanged me while handcuffed and legcuffed on the metals at a staircase connecting the ground floor to the first floor. In the dark dungeons of Mbuya, CMI personnel subjected me to untold torture, cruelty, humiliation, inhuman and degrading treatment incommunicado and often solitary toilet detention.”
Kakwenza says these were coupled with beating using sticks, batons and guns in the back during interrogation.
He adds in the affidavit that he currently feels dizzy despite taking plenty of water and this he says was occasioned by the torture.
The critical book writer now wants court to declare that arresting, beating, wounding, torturing, kicking, blindfolding and detention incommunicado constituted breach of guaranteed human dignity and freedom from torture as enshrined in the 1995 constitution.
“The applicant seeks a declaration that the respondent’s officers’ incommunicado detention of the applicant was illegal and violated his personal liberty and freedom of movement guaranteed under articles 23 and 29(2)(a) and (b) of the 1995 Constitution of Uganda,” the court documents in the suit where the Attorney General has been listed as a respondent reads in part.
He also wants court to order government to pay general, punitive and exemplary damages among other orders for the arrest and subsequent torture.