Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Mufti of Uganda Sheikh Shaban Ramathan Mubaje has called for the unconditional release of all political prisoners arrested during and after the 2021 elections.
The mufti made the remarks on Thursday while speaking to thousands of muslims that converged at Gaddafi National Mosque at Old Kampala to celebrate Eid al-Fitr which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
Mufti Mubajje who is also the chairperson of the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda says releasing the prisoners can heal the country from the wounds of the troubled election period.
Uganda went to the polls on January 14th, 2021 for the election of the President and Members of Parliament. Incumbent President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni won the election with 58 percent of the total votes cast against his closest rival Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu who garnered 35 percent.
However, several people were picked up by security during campaigns, elections and after. Several families have also complained about missing relatives. The National Unit Platform-NUP party has also repeatedly complained about the kidnap of their members.
According to the list, the majority of the arrested Ugandans are on remand in Makindye military barracks. However, several MPs led by Mathias Mpuuga, the Masaka Municipality MP have contested the list saying there are more than 423 political prisoners.
The mufti also appealed to opposition groups to reconcile with the government to ensure that the country moves on from politics and concentrates on development.
Mubaje also asked security agencies to return all motorcycles and other vehicles that were impounded for violating the curfew.
He said that although the curfew is geared towards preventing the spread of covid-19 disease, impounding the motorcycles could affect the income of the cyclists.
Unlike last year when muslims were not able to congregate for Eid al-Fitr prayers due to the covid-19 pandemic, this year Muslims turned up in big numbers to pray.
However, there was no strict observance of the COVID-19 standard operating procedures as the mosque was filled. Many faithful’s also showed up without their praying mats and face masks.
Hajj Ramathan Mugalu, Uganda Muslim Supreme Council Secretary-General also told the congregations that the leadership has intensified plans to unite the different faction leaders within the Muslim fraternity.
In Mukono, Khadhi Sheik Sazil Lumala asked members of the opposition political parties to learn to accept defeat.
Speaking during Eid al-Fitr at Mukono main mosque, Sheikh Lumala also called for the release of all political prisoners.
The Buvuma Deputy District Commissioner Juma Kigongo implored Muslims to work hard and also educate children as the only way to develop Islam during this modern generation.