A group of Members of Parliament belonging to the Muslim faith have accused the Inspector General of Uganda Police Force, Martin Okoth Ochola for being partisan.
While addressing journalists on Friday at Parliament, Latiff Ssebagala, the MP Kawempe North, accused IGP for playing politics by not responding to their request to hold special national Juma prayers at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds.
“It has taken us all this time for IGP to reply our request and today (Friday) he has responded by denying us permission to have our special national Juma prayers at Kololo Airstrip yet everything was in place,” said Ssebagala.
The accusation comes after Police on Friday morning issued a statement signed by the newly appointed police spokesperson Fred Enanga, blocking Muslims from holding their prayers at Kololo.
In the statement Enanga said that the organizers of the this prayer were doing it illegally without the acknowledgement from Muslim leadership (Uganda Muslim Supreme Council)
“We inform the general public and in particular members of the Muslim community who were intending to participate in the national Juma special prayers at Kololo independence grounds today Friday January 18 that the prayers will not take place after it was established that the religious gathering was not cleared by the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council, the supreme body legally mandated to oversee all activities under Islamic faith in Uganda,” reads the statement.
However, organizers -Sebagala and MP Kampala Central Division Muhammad Nsereko – have called this a political move since very many religious denominations have used this venue before.
Ssebagala said the government has continually insisted on treating the Muslim community unjustly.
“Kololo ceremonial grounds is gazetted for all different functions including prayers. We want to display our displeasure to the security operatives on the way they handle Muslim related issues. Especially Muslim arrests and human rights of all Ugandan but most importantly to the Muslims,” added Sebagala.
Woman MP for Kampala Nabilah Naggayi Sempala said the Juma prayers were not based on any political move but one aimed at healing the Muslim community which has suffered severely.
“This was an opportunity for all Muslim community to come peacefully to pray and heal, government should come out quickly and offer a remedial alternative to this special Juma prayers,” said Nabilah.
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