At a funeral for a renowned Muslim scholar, Dr Anas Abdul-Noor Kaliisa held on Thursday at Kibuli Mosque, Prince Kassim Nakibinge Kakungulu launched a scorching attack on the security agencies over the continued harassment of opposition politicians and their supporters.
Speaking two days after the police brutally arrested FDC presidential flag bearer, Patrick Amuriat Oboi and his NUP counterpart, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu before and after their nomination respectively, Nakibinge expressed disgust at the continued acts of brutality and harassment against the opposition, telling the state that such acts will endear no one to the ruling party.
“You have gone overboard with violence and torture; I don’t know who tells you that you must use excessive force. You cannot brutalise a person and expect them to support you nor can you stop anyone from loving a person or an idea,” Nakibinge said.
In his audience were three presidential candidate; Kyagulanyi, Mugisha Muntu (Alliance for National Transformation) and Lt. Gen. Henry Tumukunde (Independent) as well as the second deputy Prime Minister, Ali Kirunda Kivejinja, NRM vice-chairman, Hajji Moses Kigongo and Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema, the head of the State House Anti-corruption unit.
Kyagulanyi’s arrival raised tensions with organisers fearing that the police would move in and break up the gathering. The way out was to deny him a chance to speak but Nakibinge insisted that all presidential candidates should get an opportunity to speak.
“The master of ceremonies [Sheikh Nuhu Muzaata] asked me if we should allow them [the presidential candidates] to speak because he feared that we would get teargassed. I told him if they police want, let them bring the teargas but these people should address the gathering and we see what will happen. Now they have spoken and nothing has happened, so, why don’t you [government] let people speak?” Nakibinge wondered.
“They want to speak through the radio but you block them, they try want to meet the people, you teargas them, what is this? All we are saying is, exercise fairness,” Nakibinge added.
Dr. Kaliisa died abruptly on Wednesday evening at his home in Kawempe near Kampala.
Until his death, he was the chairman of Salam Charity, a local Islamic non-governmental organisation.
At Kibuli, he was the secretary general of the council of eminent Sheikhs. Previously, he served in different capacities under Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) since 1975 after he graduated from Madina University in Saudi Arabia.