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Security Blocks Prayer-Hungry Muslims At Old Kampala Mosque

However, several Muslims who had gone to attend their first post lockdown Juma prayer at Uganda Muslim Supreme Council mosque- old Kampala have been challenged by security at the national mosque who had orders to allow in only 70. congregants and ask the rest to go back home.
Muslims remained gathered at the UMSC gate as the prayers went on inside--

Audio 8

After more spending more than 6 months without going to mosques due the lockdown that was put in place by govenement to cub down the spread of covid-19, many Muslims in Uganda who had missed 26 Juma prayers have today resumed going to the mosques. 

Following president Museveni's recent address in which he gave a green light for worship places to resume services, many people missed (or disregarded) the detail that the re-opening takes effect on October 15th. And those who turned up for prayers found willing religious leaders who obliged and let them in, provided they were among the first seventy to do enter.

However, several Muslims who had gone to attend their first post lockdown Juma prayer at Uganda Muslim supreme council mosque- old Kampala got a taste of the state's presence as security at the national mosque who had orders to allow in only 70 congregants and ask the rest to go back.

By 11am, the the number of seventy had already been attained, and the mosque officials first eliminated those who did nit have prayer mats. Still many people remained outside beyond the permitted twenty.  This control prompted protest and exchange of words between the mosque security officials and Muslims who were blocked outside the entrance.

URN talked to some of them who were disappointed that the mosque which can ordinarily  thousands of Muslims at ago without flouting the social distancing guidelines, was only allowed 70.

\\Cue in: “This masjid is very large, ………

Cue out: ……….. and worship that is not a worship”\\

\\Cue in: “Afadhali netusaalira wano wabweru………

Cue out: ………..naye sirina sente embeera mbi”\\

However, Madoi Sulaiti Mabuli, the chief security officer at UMSC said it was absurd that the mosque administration could not allow the number to exceed 70 because that was the directive issued by government.

He said they could not however chase away Muslims who decided to pray from outside hence passing on a request to government to give special consideration to big prayer places as long as they can meet the regulations and guidelines.

\\Cue in: “My humble request is that we have………

Cue out: ………..we’ve tried to adhere to the SOPs”\\

\\Cue in: “Era obwedda tugezaako okulabe nti………

Cue out: ………..ebeere nga ekitunulamu mu nsonga eyo”\\

Meanwhile, after the Juma Session which was led by the UMSC secretary for Zakat Sheikh Ziyad Lubanga, the Mufti Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubajje addressed the congregants and the media hinting on a number of issues.

He expressed gratitude over movement’s gesture of reopening places of worship and explained a number of measures they have had to put into place before resuming mass gatherings of prayers.

\\Cue in: “We thank his excellency the president………

Cue out: ………..social distancing must be observed”\\

\\Cue in: “Ngoyongereza ku kya gavumenti………

Cue out: ………..lyebagamba erya meter ebbiri social distancing”\\

Mubajje urged Muslims who feel bothered with the current set up and way of doing things, to keep calm and follow the government guidelines, not only to save their lives and those of fellow Muslims, but also to pass what he calls the first test towards more easing of the lockdown.

\\Cue in: “If we observe these guidelines and………

Cue out: ………..this pandemic In Shaa Allahu ta Allah”\\

\\Cue in: “Nolwekyo njagadde okuddamu nate………

Cue out: ………..ekirwadde kino ne gwanga lyaffe”\\