President Museveni;s top critic and author Kakwenza Rukirabasaija has been named this year’s international writer of Courage winner by Pen international an award to writers who overcome threats and violence in pursuit of truth.
Kakwenza who was last year in April grabbed from his home in Iganga and whisked away by the popular drone car and later kept in Mbuya barracks for close to three weeks with high end torture is a top-notch writer whose works are seen as a thorn in Museveni’s regime.
His most recent and popular novel titled the “Greedy Barbarian” which most readers claim was directed to president Museveni landed him in trouble with security who have always made it a point to engage whoever writes anything dissent to president Museveni.
During the arrest, he was interrogated about his fiction and novel and was subjected to torture. Rukirabasaija would later detail this treatment, which PEN described as “inhuman and degrading” in his latest work in this pearl of Africa where writing can land you to jail.
CMI agents took me to Mbuya Miritary barracks where they tortured me for 7 days. I spent 15 more days in a poor ventilated prison, fully stuffed with inmates like beans in a sack, no water, a lot of lice… Now I am healing from physical and mental torture. Writing is not a crime
— Kakwenza Rukirabashaija (@KakwenzaRukira) May 11, 2020
This is evident to many who have been interrogated or incarcerated for their writing the recent one being a fresh graduate Annah Ashaba who was summoned by the Internal Security Organisation (ISO) for her Poem titled “I want to be Museveni’s side Chic”
Congratulations to the talented Ugandan Novelist @KakwenzaRukira for the award of International Writer of Courage 2021 from @pen_int an award given to writers who overcome threats & violence in pursuit of truth. Keep up the good work!
Read more here: https://t.co/A5GIYukr14 pic.twitter.com/ALSWy0mSmO
— Denmark in Uganda (@DKinUganda) October 12, 2021
We congratulate 🇺🇬 Novelist @KakwenzaRukira on being named International Writer of Courage 2021. The @pen_int award recognises writers who overcome threats & violence in pursuit of truth, & reminds us of the importance of freedom of expression as a cornerstone of every democracy. pic.twitter.com/BZ6MrJV3BJ
— EU in Uganda (@EUinUG) October 12, 2021
We join the rest of his fans to congratulate him upon such a milestone.