Police has blocked the planned national Juma prayers that were set to be held at the Kololo independence grounds today Friday, January 18 for Muslims who have been arrested and tortured by security agencies.
In a press statement by the police spokesperson, Fred Enanga, the prayers have been blocked because the organisers didn’t seek clearance from the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council.
“This is to 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,” the statement reads.
According to Police, organizers have been asked to secure another date after harmonizing with UMSC and warned them against proceeding with the event without clearance.
“We want to reassure members of the Muslim community and the public at large that all prayers on the Muslim calendar will proceed without any hindrance.” Enanga says.
However, the coordinators; Kawempe North MP Latif Sebaggala and his Kampala Central Division counterpart Muhammad Nsereko say they wrote to the Inspector General of Police on December 28, 2018 , for the second time, asking for clearance to hold the prayers.
The MPs were forced to write for a second time after being informed that the grounds had been booked for January 11 the date they had initially booked.
MP Latif Ssebaggala has protested Police’s action, saying the law enforcement body is frustrating efforts to unite Muslims.
“Police say they are not aware of this event despite the fact that we wrote several letters to them and they acknowledged having received all the letters informing them about this Prayer event,” said Ssebagala.
“There will be no National Jummah Day as we have been denied access again for the second time to access Kololo airstrip,” said the lawmaker, adding, “We being peace loving Ugandans decided to accept the decision by the security forces and abide by their resolution.”
Ssebagala said the Islam community intended to “protest against unfair treatment and brutality of Muslims” who have previously been arrested on charges related to murder and terrorism.
The MP said the Muslim community intended to “show our displeasure over the recent past events where police and security organs have made it a habit to accuse Muslims of the ongoing crimes which has left us in fear and total dismay.”
He added that during the prayers, names of all Muslims who have been tortured, arrested or gone missing at the hands of security agencies are set to be revealed.