MPs issue 7-Day ultimatum to Gov’t over abductions involving Muslim Clerics

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Moslem Parliamentary Caucus members including Hon Hassan Kirumira and Hon Asuman Basalirwa speak during a press conference in parliament on Monday; Courtesy Photo

By Arans Tabaruka

The Moslem Parliamentary caucus led by Bugiri Municipality MP Asuman Basalirwa has given government a 7 days ultimatum to release the clerics unconditionally or convict them if they have reason.

Last week, security agencies made arrests of the famous Nakasero mosque cleric Sheikh Yahah Mwanje, and the Mbale cleric Mansah Musa.

Speaking to the press at parliament on Monday, Hon Basalirwa expressed dismay over the manner of arrests of the clerics condemned the manner in which their arrests happened. He added that that the clerics are law abiding citizens and were not benefiting of their nature.

The Muslim legislators condemned the mode of arrest that in their view doesn’t befit the leader of their faith. They noted that the discretion of the sanctity of the mosques alone make it an abomination for the security to raid the mosques that ought to be protected.

“The government is keeping people incommunicado aware that it’s unconstitutional” Hon. Basalirwa.

He further dispelled the “lazy” statement made to the effect of the arrests of Sheikh Mwanje and Mansah saying the clerics are being held with CMI.

Mawokoota South county MP, and the caucus treasurer Hon. Yusuf Nsibambi says the humiliation and handpicking is inconceivable. He added that the killing of prominent Sheikhs without report reports is myopic.

“Most ADF rebels who received amnesty have all been murdered.” He allayed fears towards the manner with which the president was addressing the Muslim faith.” they added.

“With a historical perspective, in 1979 a probe into the massacre of Moslems in Mbarara has not been to effect yet the perpetrators remain atlarge” _ Hon Nsibambi.

He added; that the constitution is clear on the procedure of arrests and prosecution and what security agencies are doing is illegal and will be challenged to the latter.

The legislators also protest detention of the Muslim clerics at CMI. CMI is not a gazetted detention facility. It’s a military facility.

The criminal justice system has been fortified, leaving people languishing in prisons many of who are Moslems according to Hon Basalirwa.

Security operatives have been accused of rampant extra judicial killings, unlawful arrests and harassment of Muslim clerics in the recent past.

In addition to the recent arrests of Yahya Mwanje, Mansah Musa and and operatives have a long list of Muslim cleric murder, arrests & detention without trial on allegations of anti-terrorism acts.

Key Cleric Murders

Since 2012, about 12 Muslim clerics have been murdered.

Police has in most of the cases linked the incidents to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) and promised investigations in vain.

The tragic assassination of Sheikh Mustafa Bahiga, provided a major hallmark to the insecurity.

In a major turn around, the murder of Sheikh Mohammad in cold blood by Ugandan police outside his home on Nov. 17 would later be condemned as barbaric.

Kabale Municipality MP Hon Dr. Nicholas Kamara, in solidarity with the Muslim caucus in Parliament, said the levels of abuse of people’s rights is appalling and yet such an injustice affects everyone citizen.

“Suspects, whether Muslims or Catholics should be heard before they are convicted and sentenced”_Dr Kamara said.

The caucus is deliberate on the following demands;

That Sheikh Yahah Mwanje & Mansah Musa be released unconditionally or produced in courts of laws.

Should government fail to bring the clerics to court, the caucus shall carry out a nationwide campaign against this government to mobilize muslims against such acts of violence.

Intends to sue the government, and individuals involved. They however promised to make efforts to access the CMI and ascertain their detention.

That all prisoners whether muslims or not remanded without trial be produced in court for prosecution, a number of various prisons centers are rotting with many Ugandans in detention without trial.

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