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Uganda Protests as German Ambassador Writes to Judge over Kakwenza

posted onFebruary 9, 2022

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

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 is facing charges of offensive communication under the Computer Misuse Act.

“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 seen by this website is dated February 7, 2022.

The letter emphasized 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.

“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.

The Kampala Post has seen the letter by the German Ambassador to Uganda informing the Judge that his embassy had received an invitation letter by PEN Centre Germany for Kakwenza to travel to Germany and that the German embassy was eager to facilitate a visa application for Kakwenza.

According to Uganda's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the communication of the German ambassador to a Ugandan judicial officer regarding a person with an ongoing case is improper.

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