The Inter-Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU) has called for the immediate release National Unity Platform presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine and all suspects who were arrested with the presidential hopeful on Wednesday.
In a statement issued by the IRCU Chairperson Sheikh Shaban Mubaje, the religious leaders said that they are deeply concerned about the violent events that occurred in various parts of the country on Wednesday during and after the arrest of Kyagulanyi and Forum for Democratic Change’s Patrick Oboi Amuriat.
“We call for the immediate release of all people who were arrested yesterday. In the event that they committed crimes,they should be presented to the courts of law as the law stipulates,” Mubaje said.
Several protests ensued from various urban towns, in areas of Kisekka, Kireka, Nasana among others and according to the IRCU, all these events could have been easily avoided.
“While we imagine the dilemma faced by the security agencies, we call for actions that honour the rights and dignity of all Ugandans irrespective of their political affiliations,” Mubaje added.
At least 7 people have so far been confirmed dead from the protests as police and the army opened fire to disperse the rioters. The IRCU said that the police and the Army has breached its code of conduct and urged them to ensure sanity.
“The army has breached Article 209 that states that the army will cooperate with civilian authority in emergency situations and in cases of natural disaster like COVID-19,” Mubajje said.
Adding, “”We noted with concern that the police were in breach of the COVID-19 SOPs and of Article 21(3) that stipulates that the police shall be patriotic,professional,disciplined,competent and productive.”
With the riots having extended in day two, Mubajje said that the violence undermines the electoral process and urged the Electoral Commission to step up and take charge.
Kyagulanyi remains incarcerated at Nalufenya Police Station after over 30 hours in detention.
The Inter Religious Council is an umbrella association that brings all heads if religious denominations in the country together.