KAMPALA – Efforts by State Minister for Internal Affairs, Obiga Kania to respond to a matter raised on the possible extension of curfew hours were futile after MPs demanded for a statement from the Prime Minister.
Speaking to the House on behalf of the Prime Minister, Hon. Obiga Kania informed the MPs that the National Task Force on Covid-19 is reviewing the Standard Operating Procedures including curfew.
“The Internal Affairs ministry is in consultation with the Muslim community regarding Ramadhan. It was established and advised by the leaders that the times that are critical will be from 8:00pm to 9:00pm and these are the times we need to consider while enforcing curfew,” said Kania.
He gave an assurance that the curfew will not affect Ramadhan activities, adding that the Muslim communities are encouraged to end their activities before 9:00pm.
“If activities lapse the curfew hour, we will engage with the communities and security,” he said.
Abdu Latif Sebaggala, MP Kawempe North on April 7, 2021 asked the Prime Minister to consider lifting curfew or increase the hours saying that it has affected businesses.
He added that in light of the upcoming Ramadhan period, the Muslim community would not be able to carry on with their activities.
Kalungu West MP, Joseph Ssewungu raised a matter of procedure and asked that the Prime Minister should make a comprehensive statement on the curfew.
“This matter is important and should be debated and yet minister is submitting like any other MP; let us wait for Prime Minister and debate so that we get a solution,” he said.
Ssewungu added that there is no justification for government to continue enforcing curfew since it is applied selectively.
Sebaggala said that the remarks by the minister will not stop police from enforcing curfew.
“Security will not relax curfew; they will arrest the Muslims observing Ramadhan activities past curfew time. We need to know that we shall be allowed to go for prayers as long as we identify that we are from prayers,” Sebaggala said.
Speaker Rebecca Kadaga directed the Prime Minister to present a statement next week after the Cabinet meeting on Monday.
“You cannot say Muslims can move while others cannot. How will that be enforced,” asked Kadaga.
As part of the Standard Operating Procedures to curb spread of the Covid-19 virus, curfew is enforced from 9:00pm to 5.30am.