Diplomatic Row- UG Government protests German ambassador Direct Engagement with Magistrate over Tortured Kakwenza.

Uganda Government has protested the decision by the German ambassador to communicate directly to the Buganda Road Chief Magistrate in contravention of diplomatic protocol.

HICGI News Agency @Kivumbi Earnest Benjamin & Musisi Yiga John – Updated at 1028 EAT on Wednesday 09th Feb 2022

1st son Gen Muhoozi Kaineruba and Germany Ambasaddor H.E Matthias Schauer H.E Courtesy photo

KAMPALA- Government, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said on January 28, Ambassador Matthias Schauer wrote to Buganda Road Chief Magistrate in respect to an invitation of Kakwenza Rukirabashaija to Germany.

Kakwenza Rukirabashaija

Kakwenza, who is battling charges of offensive communication under the Computer Misuse Act, is a 33-year-old author and government critic.

“The ministry, with deep concern, informs (the embassy) that the above-mentioned communication was in breach of article 41.1 and 41.2 of the Vienna Convention Diplomatic relations.

“The communication was not conducted through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its content in respect to the conduct of an ongoing case, is a clear interference in the internal affairs of Uganda and an affront to the independence of the Judiciary,” the ministry wrote in its letter to Germany’s embassy in Kampala. The letter is dated February 7, 2022.

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It reiterated that the Government values its relations with Germany and remains desirous and committed to strengthening them deeper.

“However, our partnership must adhere to time honoured principles of mutual respect, non-interference and sovereignty.

Germany Ambassador Matthias Schauer H.E talks to HICGI News Agency Editor in Chief – File Photo

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uganda avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Kampala, the assurance of its highest consideration,” it stated.

Kakwenza was on January 25, released on bail by Buganda Road Chief Magistrate, Dr Douglas Singiza, after nearly a month in police detention.

On January 11, he was charged with offences related to tweets for disturbing the peace of President Yoweri Museveni and the commander of land forces, Lt Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba, with no purpose of legitimate communication.

Embassy confirms letter

When contacted on Tuesday, February 8, the German Embassy in Kampala told “Uganda Daily” in an email that on January 28, 2022, Schauer sent a letter to Singiza, informing him that his embassy had received an invitation letter by PEN Centre Germany for Kakwenza to travel to Germany and that a visa application by the author would require the possession of a valid passport.

“Please note that this letter served only to pass on factual information to the court. It did not contain invitation by the German Government or the Embassy, neither any comment, assessment, suggestion and or request,” the embassy said.

“PEN Centre Germany is a private organisation of which Mr Kakwenza Rukirabashaija has been made an honorary member,” it added.

What invite says

In an invite to Kakwenza dated January 27, 2022, Deniz Yücel, the president of PEN Germany, said they invited him to attend in person at his official reception into their organisation as a member of honour.

“This event shall be held as soon as possible in our headquarters, located in Darmstadt, south of Frankfurt. Costs for your flight and sojourn in Germany will, of course, be covered by PEN Germany. This includes any medical attention you might require. The German Embassy to Uganda is informed of this and happy to assist with the timely issuance of the required visa,” Yucel wrote

Kakwenza’s lawyer, Eron Kiiza on Tuesday told a local daily , that on January 11, 2022, his client was appointed honorary member of PEN Germany, an association of over 800 writers that campaigns for freedom of expression and upholds literature as a force of world culture at the same time.

“He won an award on January 11, which they wanted to officially recognise him for, but most importantly, he wanted to go and get medication. However, the court stopped him by refusing to release his passport,” he said.

Kakwenza was on January 11, 2022 appointed honorary member of PEN Germany “for his outstanding literary work, continuously recalling the utmost importance of freedom of expression in our days”.

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Also read https://hicginewsagency.com/2022/02/01/kakwenza-asks-court-to-relax-bail-terms/

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