Security slammed for acts of cruelty, brutality against Muslims

Iganga, (UG):- The Muslim faithful in Iganga District led by the National Resistance Movement (NRM) Chairperson Hajji Walubi Abubakar have called upon the government to intervene in matters of cruelty and brutality aimed at their members by some security operatives.

The Muslims say they are being mistreated and always seen as terrorists by some security officers, something they say has depleted their right to practice and promote their religion.

While addressing the Muslim faithful who gathered at the Municipal Council PS ground in Iganga town for Eid-Al-Fitr prayers, Walubi said some of the prominent Muslims in the town are being arrested and accused of training rebel groups and terrorists in their schools.

Walubi told believers that one of the leaders at the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) and also the proprietor of Uthman Afan Islamic Institute Sheikh Muhammad Afan was arrested together with other three family members before detaining them at Magamaga Army Barracks where they were treated with cruelty on minor issues.

“I want to present my concern to the government of Uganda which I treasure most. Muslims are not immigrants in our country Uganda and we have equal rights to practice and promote Islam, but there is a security officer who arrested Sheikh Muhammad Afan with his four children and taken to Magamaga but I condemn the way we were treated when we went to the barracks to follow-up on this matter,” Hajji Walubi said.

We understood that while at the barracks, Walubi and other prominent Muslim leaders in Busoga who included the Regional Kadhi, they were mistreated by a security officer whom he identified as Capt. Denis Mugisha, who reportedly reached the extent of forcing them to clap and sing, something which they refused.

Hajji Walubi Abubakar, NRM chairman for Iganga addressing the press after Eid prayers

It has been established that Sheikh Muhammad Afan was arrested in the holy month after his wife lost a mobile phone and one of the children had the number of the said officer and called him for help, however, the officer misinterpreted the call and baselessly pinned them to be rebels with bad intentions against him.

“There was a Captain in the name of Denis Mugisha who always sees all Muslims as linked to Al-Shabaab and ADF and also mentioned that the school of Sheikh Muhammad trains rebels and this was too much. However we thank Allah that we managed to report this issue to high offices and the officer was arrested and detained in Makindye,” Walubi narrated before urging all Muslims to stand strong in Islam citing that it is not criminal to belong to Islam.

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He called upon the government to ensure the right to worship for Muslims and also called upon responsible authorities to come out and apologize to the Muslims for such acts of cruelty going on in the country. He also pledged that they will not leave the NRM government amidst such persecutions citing that they still have a portion in the government.

Sheikh Lwigale, the deputy secretary Iganga Muslim Council, while leading the prayers urged government security organs to always first collect evidence before accusing Muslims of terrorism and other acts without clear knowledge. He condemned the habit of security organs which are torturing people and called upon responsible authorities to apologize over the bad acts directed to Muslims.

“We as Muslims condemn the discipline by security operatives who baselessly incarcerate families over terrorism accusations without clear evidence. They beat these people and finally fail to get evidence to pin them yet they have enough logistics to carry on investigations. We want an apology from the person who was behind this because our schools are law abiding and on top of that obey Allah,” Sheikh Lwigale said.

However, our efforts to engage Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) officials for a comment on the allegations were futile as the Deputy army spokesperson, Col. Deo Akiiki Asiimwe referred us to their Spokesperson in the area, Capt. George Musinguzi who by press time on Thursday afternoon was yet to revert with a formal response.

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The Eid-ul-Fitr prayers were attended by the district Kadhi Iganga Muslim district Sheikh Sinani Muhammad Muwanika who told Muslims that they have lobbied a program from inter religious council which will give them free tree seedlings which will be planted on free Muslim land and called upon Imams to inform their leadership about the availability of free land which will be put to use by this program.

Others who attended the Eid prayers are; Iganga district woman Member of Parliament Hon. Kauma Sauda Alibaawo, political leaders from Iganga, religious leaders and other dignitaries.

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