The leadership of the Jamu-iyyat Daawat Ssalafiyyah Muslim Community has dragged government to the High Court in Kampala, challenging the manner in which its security operatives raided Nakasero Mosque at dawn on December 27, 2016.
Led by the Nakasero Mosque Publicity Secretary Habib Buwembo, the man behind the ongoing Rubaga South MP Kato Lubwama’s election, they say the action of the security operatives was done without a search warrant, was unlawful, unjustifiable and should never be repeated.
They state that at about 12:30 am or thereabouts on 27 December, 2016, without prior notice or warning, a combined team of security operatives suspected to have included members of the Uganda Police Force, Military division of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) and an outfit known as the Joint Anti-Terrorism Task Force, forcefully broke into Nakasero Mosque.
They accuse the forces of indiscriminately battering and arresting whoever was found inside the mosque’s compound before ransacking, pillaging and vandalizing the mosque. They say the raid involved the destruction and defilement of the various sacred religious items dear to them as members of the Jamu-iyyat Daawat Ssalafiyyah Muslim community that conduct prayers at the mosque located on Plot 4 Snay bin Amin Street in Kampala.
They contend that as a result of the raid, the state wounded their feelings by insulting their religion, and caused them to suffer less favorable treatment and stigmatization in law enforcement on grounds of their religion, unlawful deprivation of liberty, humiliation, loss of dignity and property.
They add that they also suffered invasion of privacy, disturbance of religious assembly and worship, degradation of their religious faith, customs, traditions and beliefs and the violation of their right to presumption of innocence and protection of the law, especially the right to due process, among other injuries.
Through their lawyers Centre for Legal Aid, the trio wants court to direct that the government unconditionally returns to the rightful owners at Nakasero Mosque any and all items including but not limited to the computers, mobile phones, motorcycles, money, documents and compact disks containing Islamic teachings that were confiscated during the raid.
They say that having infringed on the protected rights of the Muslim Community; a permanent injunction should be issued against the Attorney General restraining him from using the confiscated items as evidence in the prosecution of any body.
They also want compensation through the established leadership structure at Nakasero Mosque with general, aggravated and punitive damages during the raid as well as costs of the application.
On the fateful day during the wee hours, the security operatives carried out the raid in which about eighteen Muslims from the mosque were arrested and taken to unknown locations.
Habib Buwembo later addressed a news conference in which he told journalists that the security operatives carried away six computers, vital documents, $4800 and over sh5 million.
Buwembo said that he believed the raid is connected to the proposed sh10 billion Ummah house project, a brain child of Sheikh Muhammad Yunus Kamoga, the jailed leader of Jamu-iyyat Daawat Ssalafiyyah community in Uganda.
However, during a press conference at the police head quarters ahead of the New Year celebrations, on Wednesday, December 28, 2016, the Inspector General of Police Gen. Kale Kaihura denied Buwembo’s claims saying that the raid was a search operation following information revealed by a Muslim suspect in connection to the killing of Maj Sheikh Kiggundu.
Kayihura said the search was inevitable because the Muslims were turning places of worship into crime centers by planning criminal acts from there.
Following the murder of Sheikh Major Muhammad Kiggundu several people including Muslim clerics have been arrested as police continues to search for the killers.
Maj Kiggundu was shot dead together with his bodyguard by unidentified gunmen riding on two motorcycles at Masanafu trading center in Rubaga division, a Kampala suburb on November 26, 2016.
Police picked up the acting Amir Ummah, Sheikh Yahaya Mwanje days later for interrogation into the killing.
The arrest of Mwanje and his team came at a time the Amir Ummah Sheikh Muhammad Yunus Kamoja and several leaders of Jamu-iyyat Daawat Ssalafiyyah are facing trial in the High Court International Crimes Division for the murder of several Muslim clerics.
Kamoga and his group are accused of masterminding the killing of former Kibuli Muslim faction spokesman Sheikh Hassan Kirya, Sheikh Mustafa Bahiga, the former Kampala District Amir and Doctor Abdul Qadir Muwaya, the top Shia cleric.
The trio was gunned down at the different places and dates by gunmen riding on motorcycles.
Court will at appropriate time set a date for the hearing.