Police have blocked the National Juma special prayers that were scheduled to take place today Friday at Kololo ceremonial grounds.
The prayers which were organised by MPs Muhammed Nsereko (Kampala Central) and Latif Ssebagala ( Kawempe North) were to pray for the lives of Muslims who have been killed, arrested and tortured.
Over a dozen Muslim clerics have been killed from various parts in almost similar style over the years. Also, police, especially during the former reign of police chief Gen Kale Kayihura, made it a habit to arrest Muslim suspects in droves whenever a high profile murder occurred. Most of the suspects would later be freed by courts for lack of evidence but always complained of torture whilst in detention.
According to the police spokesperson Fred Enanga, the prayers were blocked because they had not sought clearance from the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council.
At Kololo ceremonial grounds, there was heavy deployment of police with limited access. In December, Nsereko and Ssebagala wrote to the inspector general of police Martin Okoth Ochola and the chief of defense forces Gen David Muhoozi seeking permission for the prayers.
Muhoozi cleared the prayers but on condition that Ochola also does the same. However, Ochola has never responded to the letter. A press statement issued on Friday by Nsereko noted that it was an injustice to the Muslim community for the police not grant permission.
"We, therefore, call off our National Special Juma prayers which were supposed to take place Friday 18th January 2019 and this is an indication that Kololo ceremonial grounds can be accessed by all Ugandans apart from Muslims. These are the injustices we are fighting," reads the statement in part.
Kololo has been previously been a preferred venue choice for other religious denominations, political parties and companies due to its accessibility and vast space.