As Ugandans celebrated Eid-ul-Fitri, the Mufti of Uganda, Sheikh Shaban Ramathan Mubaje called for the unconditional release of all political prisoners who were arrested during and after the 2021 elections.
Addressing Muslim faithful that congregated at the National Mosque at Old Kampala for Eid-ul-Fitri prayers on Thursday, Mubaje said that after taking oath for his new term of office, President Yoweri Museveni should consider releasing all the opposition supporters that got arrested in the heat of the 2021 general elections.
“Let them be released, let them enjoy their freedom. Some of them are Muslims who [had] to celebrate Eid with their families. So, we appeal to His Excellency, the president to pardon these people,” Mubaje said.
Hundreds of opposition supporters and activists especially those aligned to the National Unity Platform (NUP) were rounded up and jailed over various charges which the opposition say are politically motivated.
The NUP has since petitioned the International Criminal Court (ICC) over the the ‘kidnap’ of their members, some of whom have been discovered dead or with severe injuries.
The majority of those in detention are facing charges before the General Court Martial, and, are either held at Makindye military barracks or Kitalya prison.
The Mufti also appealed to opposition groups to reconcile with the government to ensure that the country moves on from politics and concentrate on development.
Mubaje also asked security agencies to return all motorcycles and other vehicles that were impounded for violating the curfew.
He said that although the curfew is geared towards preventing the spread of covid-19 disease, impounding the motorcycles could affect the income of the cyclists.
There was no strict observance of the COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures- SOPs as the mosque was filled. Many faithful also showed up without their praying mat and face masks.