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Muslims petition Parliament over army occupation of mosque

Hon Ann Adeke, the national female youth MP presented the petition on the floor of Parliament. (PHOTO/File)

KAMAPALA/ISHAKA – The Muslim community of Ishaka-Bushenyi Municipality want Parliament to institute an investigation into the alleged unlawful occupation of the mosque by the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF).

The army and police were deployed at Basajjabalaba Mosque in Bushenyi-Ishaka Municipality in March 2018 following disagreements among the Muslims in the area.

In a petition presented by the National Female Youth MP, Hon. Anna Adeke Ebaju during plenary sitting on Thursday, May 23 2019, the Muslim community claims that the continued unlawful occupation of the mosque by the army infringes on their right to freedom of worship.

“There have been political interferences on administration and management of the Ishaka- Bushenyi main mosque which has perpetrated conflict and division among the Muslim communities in the district, resulting into clashes and in some cases death,” said Adeke Ebaju.

She added that there is an eminent threat of unlawful acquisition of land belonging to the muslim community.

“As a result of failure by relevant agencies and institutions to amicably resolve the issue, there is bound to be more clashes and insecurity.

Parliament should urge government to immediately urge UPDF to vacate the mosque,” said Adeke Ebaju.

She also urged government to investigate the unprofessional conduct of the police and army in regards to interference in management and administration of Bushenyi main mosque.

The Deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah, referred the matter to the appropriate committee for investigation.

He also referred the issues addressed to government to the Prime Minister for appropriate action.

The UPDF spokesperson, Brig Richard Karemire, has confirmed the presence of the army at the said mosque but remained tight lipped, on why force decided to keep a heavy presence at Basajjabalaba Mosque in Ishaka Bushenyi since last year.

“Do you think they are just playing? he asked this reporter in a telephone conversion, adding that “we are aware of the petition but the minister will present details to Parliament.”

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