The executive accepts to table the long-awaited "comprehensive report" on killing of prominent Muslim clerics
By Moses Walubiri & Moses Mulondo
KAMPALA - The executive has accepted to table the long-awaited "comprehensive report" on killing of prominent Muslim clerics in the country on Thursday next week – after a little prodding from parliament.
State minister for internal affairs, James Baba, told parliament that the report that had been demanded by shadow minister of internal affairs, Muwanga Kivumbi, a month ago is currently under scrutiny by cabinet.
The report is expected to highlight government's response to the wave of killings that has sent a ripple of fear across the Muslim community in Uganda.
"In the course of next week, the report will be tabled. My ministry has submitted it to cabinet for scrutiny before it's tabled before parliament," James Baba said in response to a query by Kivumbi.
In the wake of the murder of Sheikh Hassan Kirya by unknown assailants at the end of June, government had promised to table a report on Muslim clerics' murders within three weeks.
Kivumbi had accused government of not giving the matter the urgency it requires, saying security forces are giving the same response every time another Muslim cleric is murdered: "we shall make sure that this does not happen again".
"Not everyone can be given special protection yet we are getting information that the assailants are expanding their hit list," said Kivumbi.
'Living under fear'
Butambala County MP Muwanga Muhammad Kivumbi demanded the report. (Credit: Maria Wamala)
Kivumbi, and later Baba, revealed that the imam of the parliamentary mosque, who is also Kawempe North MP, Latif Ssebagala has been given special protection after intelligence got information that he had been added on the hit list.
The decision to give Ssebagala extra protection was taken while he was out of the country and he admitted to finding his new surrounding rather surreal.
"We are living under fear. Prince Kassim Nakibinge's home is like a barracks. But the situation has never been like this despite divisions among the Muslim community in the past," Ssebagala said.
When asked by Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Wafula Oguttu, whether the killings in question were indicative of government's failure to protect Ugandans, Baba said police will not allow anyone to breathe down its neck while conducting its investigations into the murders.
"Let us conduct investigations into these murders peacefully. If we knew the cause and people behind these murders, we would have sorted out the matter long ago," Baba, a tad rattled, said.
Sheikh Abdul Qadir Muwaya, top leader of Uganda's Shia Muslim community, and his colleague Sheikh Mustafa Bahiga, were shot dead by men on motorbikes in two separate attacks just days apart in December last year.
Kirya's murder was the ninth such fatality in a space of two years.
Early this year, 18 people were charged with the murder of the two clerics although six of them were released four days ago.
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