INCOMMUNICADO! Two Sheikhs ‘Whisked-away’ in Luwero


Sheikh Muhammad Ssemwanga

Luwero – Unidentified security operatives on Sunday arrested two Muslim clerics in Luwero district for unknown reasons.

Sheikh Ramadhan Mulindwa Nsanja, the Kadhi of Luwero Muslim district identified the arrested clerics as Sheikh Swaibu Segujja, the assistant secretary for Zakat under the Luwero Muslim district and the Imam of Butanza Mosque in Katikamu sub-county.

The other is Sheikh Muhammed Ssemwanga, the Imam of Lusenke Mosque in Wobulenzi town council and teacher at Lugo Orphanage at Lukomera in Katikamu sub-county and Rashid Ibn Warid Islamic primary school in Wobulenzi.

Sheikh Mulindwa quotes eyewitness, saying the two were picked up Sunday afternoon by heavily armed security operatives travelling in the dreaded omnibus alias ‘drone’.

The operatives first raided the home of Sheikh Segujja in Butanza village in Katikamu sub-county where he was picked up along with his wife and mother. They later raided Kituntu village in Nakaseke district where they picked Sheikh Ssemwanga from his farm.

According to Sheikh Mulindwa, the operatives later released Sheikh Segujja, his wife and mother.

He, however, says that Sheikh Ssemwanga is yet to regain his freedom. Sheikh Mulindwa notes that he visited Sheikh Segujja who recounted his arrest shortly after his release indicating that he was grilled about what he does for a living.

The arrest of the two clerics comes days after the shooting of Sheikh Muhammad Abbas Kirevu. The senior Muslim cleric in Makindye Ssabagabo Division, Wakiso district was killed at his other home in Katereke-Nsangi, Kyengera township on suspicions of running a terror cell.

Ahamad Kyamanyi, Kirevu’s deputy Imam, who was found at the home of the deceased, told URN that security operatives raided the deceased’s home after midnight, arrested his family members, and inquired about Kirevu’s whereabouts. He was later arrested, handcuffed, and shot purportedly while trying to flee, a narrative the deceased’s family has outrightly dismissed as false.

They insist Kirevu was murdered in cold blood after being handcuffed. Sheikh Kirevu’s shooting has drawn angry reactions from the Muslim community, who accused state security of engaging in extrajudicial killings. In his Friday summon at the National Mosque, Sheikh Ali Shiuyo, the second deputy Imam called on state security to act professionally and stop targeting Muslims.

He said it is unfair for state security to blame every murder or crime on Muslims without subjecting the suspects to due process of the law.

“Even our Christian neighbours are worried about our lives. Immediately after the Kampala twin bomb lasts, my Christian neighbors came and sympathized with me, saying we know they are going to start arresting Muslims again,” he said.

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