Uganda Pens Protest Letter to Germany for Interfering in Kakwenza Court Case


Uganda’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sent a protest letter to the Government of Germany for trying to directly interfere with the ongoing court trial of Ugandan novelist and government critic, Kakwenza Rukurabasaija.

Mr Kakwenza, who is facing charges related to Offensive Communication, is currently out on bail.

The Ministry in a February 7th letter to the German Ambassador to Uganda HE Matthias Schauer, expressed displeasure at the latter’s attempt to directly influence Buganda Road Court to alter its bail conditions for Mr Kakwenza.

The ambassador, this website understands, wrote to the Chief Magistrate Douglas Singiza on January 28th – 3 days after Kakwenza’s release, — asking him to return (Kakwenza)’s passport (which had been deposited with the court as part of the bail conditions) to allow him to travel to Germany.

In the ambassador’s letter seen by this website, he said Kakwenza had been invited to Germany by an organization named PEN Centre Germany, to attend an event in which he would be officially admitted into the said organization.

“I would like to inform you that this embassy would receive and support Mr. Rukirabashaija’s visa application at any given time, provided that he meets all legal and personal preconditions. This refers also to being in possession of a valid passport, which— as I understand-is currently deposited at court as a condition of bail,” the Ambassador wrote.

The action by the German Ambassador is now being deemed “an affront” on the Independence of the Ugandan Judiciary and a breach of several international laws, by the Uganda Government.

The Foreign Affairs Minister in the protest letter said the ambassador’s letter was “in breach of Article 41.1 and 41.2 of the Vienna Convention on 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 reiterates that the Government of Uganda values its relations with the Federal Republic of Germany and remains desirous and committed to strengthen them deeper; however, our partnership must adhere to time-honoured principles of mutual respect, non-interference and sovereignty.”

The German Ambassador’s letter was first flagged by office of the DPP, who raised it with the Attorney General, Kiryowa Kiwanuka.

Kiwanuka in turn, wrote to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon Jeje Odongo, expressing his concerns and seeking further guidance.

“I am of considered opinion that this action by the head of a foreign mission, writing directly to the judicial officer in respect to the conduct of his judicial functions in an ongoing court case, or at all, is an egregious affront to the independence of the judiciary and a breach of the laws and conventions governing the conduct of diplomatic missions,” Kiwanuka wrote to the minister on February 4th.

It should be noted that Mr Kakwenza himself, following his release on bail on January 25th 2022, returned to court last week seeking permission to travel abroad for treatment for his torture injuries.

The Chief Magistrate however, rejected this request saying there was no urgent need for that kind treatment outside the country.

The post Uganda Pens Protest Letter to Germany for Interfering in Kakwenza Court Case first appeared on ChimpReports.

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