MPs express disappointment over government’s failure to apprehend the people behind the killing of sheikhs.
By Moses Mulondo & Joyce Namutebi
KAMPALA - MPs have expressed disappointment over government’s failure to apprehend the people behind the terrifying acts of murdering prominent Muslim leaders.
Sheikh Ibrahim Hassan Kirya’s murder late on Tuesday brought to nine the number of Muslim clerics killed since 2012 – all slain in the same way.
Kirya, who had feared for his life, was shot dead at 10.35 pm local time in Bweyogerere after crossing the road to buy passion fruits on his way back home.
Just like the ones before, the latest murder has brought more chills within the Ugandan Muslim community, and legislators are calling for government’s swift intervention.
Raising it as a matter of national importance, Butambala County MP Muhamad Muwanga Kivumbi said the Muslim community is increasingly losing confidence in government over the way the matter has been handled.
“Government is aware that there is a published list of Muslim leaders that have to be killed and the killers are knocking off one after another. There is a lot of tension among Muslims. The suspicion is that government is not doing enough to protect them,” he said.
During the funeral of Sheikh Kirya at Kibuli Mosque, Kivumbi said, Gen. Kale Kayihura “admitted that he is tired” of going for funerals of murdered sheikhs. “Is it not time for him to resign?”
‘We must wake up’
The body of Sheikh Kirya being carried in a jenazah to an ambulance after prayers at Kibuli Mosque. (Credit: Eddie Ssejjoba)
Meanwhile, the police chief told Muslim mourners that Sheikh Kirya was snuffed out because he has been closely working with him (Kayihura) to net the people that masterminded the murders of the other eight sheikhs before him.
“Kirya was killed because of me. He was killed for working with me and we have that intelligence,” said the IGP.
Parliament Imam and Kawempe North MP said: “Although many on that published list have been killed, there are others like those in Busoga and Mbale who were killed and yet they were not on the list. 12 sheikhs have so far been killed in the same way. I believe as a country we must wake up and investigate to the bottom line of the killings.”
“These murders have caused a lot of fear and panic,” said Tororo County MP Geoffrey Ekanya.
“The information out there is that there is in-fighting within security forces and that these killings are meant to portray police leadership as incapable. Otherwise, any serious police should have arrested those killers by now,” he added.
Legislator John Ken Lukyamuzi (Lubaga South) weighed in: “For Kayihura to say he is tired, it may mean government is tired. We are also tired of government for failing to solve the problems in the country.”
The government chief whip, Ruth Nankabirwa, said the internal affairs minister would within two weeks present a comprehensive statement on the murders and what government is doing to stop them.
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