The Uganda Police Force should calm the raging tension among Muslims in the wake of killings of their leaders in Kampala and Mayuge District. Already, counter accusations have been traded, risking to fire up the suspicions. Worse, some names have been mentioned in the killings of Sheikh Mustafa Bahiiga, shot dead at Bwebajja mosque on Entebbe Road on Sunday. Moreover, echoes of Muslim wrangles over property management, including over the Masjid Noor Mosque on Plot 30, William Street in Kampala, were palpable at the funeral prayers at Kibuli Mosque.
These upsurge of emotions demand that police should tread cautiously and handle the cases with extreme care. The Force should remain nationalistic, patriotic, professional, disciplined, and non-partisan. More so because sections of the Muslim community are already waving a dossier of what they claim is a list of its leaders lined up to be eliminated. Given the circumstances, the better option for the police is to listen to the head of the Kibuli Muslim faction, Sheikh Zubairi Kayongo, to co-opt a special group to assist the force investigate the killings. This should place a caveat against the police rush to issue orders to restore the status quo at Masjid Noor Mosque on William Street, Kampala.
Similarly, Muslim leaders should show restraint and not jump to conclusions too soon. They should allow the police do their work despite the force’s failure to produce conclusive reports of previous investigations. Some of the roots to the killings evidently go beyond their mutual distrusts of fellow Muslims. Of course, police leads of family wrangles, Muslim leadership squabbles, and commercial dealings are important. But these should not blank out some of more crucial clues that peg the killings to links with Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). And Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura has been repetitive and persistent that ADF rebels ordered the killings of some of the Muslim Sheikhs.
Sure enough, the back-to-back killings are distinctive of trademark killings of persons formerly linked to ADF. As far back as 2009, killings of former ADF fighters and collaborators have left similar trademarks in Kampala City and Bugiri District. These assassins do race on a boda boda, gun down persons previously linked to ADF, and quickly melt away. These killings should be quickly brought to an end.. Is government doing enough to protect persons formerly linked to ADF but have sought amnesty, work as collaborators, or have been reintegrated?
In the end, though Kayihura’s admission of Police weakness is good, still it does not guarantee the safety of persons formerly linked to ADF. Government should ensure protection of these people to reduce tension among Muslims.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor