Opposition political party, Justice Forum (JEEMA) has accused government of a witch-hunt meted out against the Muslim community following a recent raid on Usafi mosque in Kisenyi, a Kampala suburb.
In the wee hours of Saturday morning, a joint security operation led to the death of two people at Usafi mosque. Police explained that the mosque was a refuge for criminals, some of who were connected to the murder of Suzan Magara early this year.
“One of the key suspects in the murder of the late Suzan Magara run to Usafi mosque in Kisenyi having known that he was being tracked by security agencies. When we tried to invade the mosque, they attacked our operatives badly injuring one of them prompting our security team to act in self defence and killed two of attackers,” the Internal Affairs Minister Gen. Jeje Odong said on Saturday afternoon.
However, according to JEEMA’s Hajji Hussein Kyanjo, there is no credible evidence of criminals found in the mosque but rather staged events by government to discredit the Muslim community all over the country.
“The events of the past few years and the recent one are unfortunate but not surprising to some of us,” Kyanjo told journalists at the JEEMA headquarters in Mengo.
Kyanjo explained that, “As it is today, Muslims are the automatic suspects for any major crime in Uganda. From killing Joan Kagezi, to the murder of AIGP Andrew Kaweesi and now the attack on Usafi mosque that Muslims had killed Suzan Magara.”
Over 20 people mostly Muslims were last year arraigned before Nakawa magistrate’s court and charged with the murder of AIGP Kaweesi last year as he left his home in Kulambiro.
Despite being detained for a number of months, the group has never been committed to High Court for trial as the state prosecutors insist investigations into the murder are still ongoing.
According to the former Makindye West legislator, it is unfortunate that on many occasions the state arrests people first before carrying out investigations.
“The law provides that one will be presumed innocent until proven guilty but in case of Muslims, they are taken to be guilty on arrest, paraded before media and to them it is arrest first and investigate later.”
Kyanjo however asked government to carry out separate investigations into the raids on Muslim communities all over the country, the Usafi mosque inclusive and release a full report to the public.
When contacted for a comment, the government spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo dismissed Kyanjo’s claims as being utter rubbish.
“Kyanjo is a Muslim extremist who is not capable of seeing any wrong that some Muslims do purportedly in the name of Islam,”Opondo told the Nile Post.
“He has never been fair minded because of his extremism. How come they have never picked on him? What he is saying is utter rubbish.”
According to the government spokesperson, there are many mosques around but government has never raided any of them.
“Security must have detected wrong doing at Usafi mosque.”
When contacted , the army spokesperson, Brig.Richard Karemire said they are not moved by the statements from JEEMA.
He said the army only targets criminals but not any religious faiths.
“As UPDF we recognise and respect all religious faiths equally. However, followers who break the law and threaten lives of our people are treated as individuals,”Brig.Karemire told the Nile Post.
“Individuals should not be given room to hide under faiths. It will just not help them at all.”