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Seven Leaders of Muslim Converts Detained for A Week Without Charge

Sheikh Ramadhan Mulindwa, the Kadhi of Luwero Muslim district, who visited the suspects on Wednesday, says that they pleaded their innocence and called for their immediate release. According to Sheikh Mulindwa, the suspects told him that they committed no offense to live on a hill.
Courtesy Photo; Luwero Kadhi Ramadhan Mulindwa in selfie with the leaders at Luwero Central Police Station

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Police in Luwero is on the spot for detaining leaders of new Muslim converts beyond the mandatory 48 hours without charge. The suspects were picked up on  June 23rd, 2022 on a joint police and UPDF raid on Walusi hill in Kireku village in Luwero district where they evicted 70 Muslim converts.

The group that was initially involved in traditional worship at the hill was found living in a cave, tents, and huts. Police arrested the Imam Isa Kisinja who had lived on the hill for close to thirteen years and six others who were helping him to preach Islam. 

The other suspects are Muwada Kyambadde, Abdulrahman Mudde, Mubarak Lubulwa, Shafik Kazibwe, and Amirat Masturah Nakyeyune. Police accused the leaders of radicalizing their followers and detained them at Luwero Central Police Station.

Police dispatched over 60 followers to their homes in Kayunga, Luwero, and Buyende districts among others. However a week after the arrest, Police have neither pressed any suspects against the leaders nor presented them in court in violation of the  48 hours mandatory detention period.

Living Twazagye, the Luwero District Police Commander explains the UPDF and Police detectives have completed interrogating the suspects but they are yet to come up with a full report to determine their next action. “ The day has not ended, a report may be out today and we take action on the suspects tomorrow,” Twazagye told URN.

Sheikh Ramadhan Mulindwa, the Kadhi of Luwero Muslim district, who visited the suspects on Wednesday, says that they pleaded their innocence and called for their immediate release. According to Sheikh Mulindwa, the suspects told him that they committed no offense to live on a hill. 

He explained that Walusi hill has attracted a number of people who frequent it daily for traditional worship but none of them has been arrested and wondered why only the Muslims were targeted. Mulindwa says that Kisinja was a witch doctor at the same hill but converted to Islam and was planning to build a mosque to recruit others to embrace Islam. 

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Richard Bwabye Ntulume, the Luwero Resident District Commissioner, says that the leaders will be released in case security establishes that they had no criminal intentions. He also denied accusations of selective eviction of people from the hill, saying that even other people acting in breach of the law under the guise of worshiping will be removed.

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Early this month, the UPDF and Police raided the home of Umar Kabonge Ajobe, a resident of Kikubajinja zone in Luwero whom they claimed was using it to assemble a bomb to terrorize Kampala city. Ajobe and two others who were arrested for their alleged links to the rebel Allied Democratic Forces are still in custody in an unknown facility.   

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