Kampala Mosque Closed, Eight Arrested Top story

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In short
Eight men were arrested and are still being held at the Central Police Station for alleged terror links. It however remains unclear whether the arrests are connected to the murder of Sheikh Mustapha Bahiga, a Muslim cleric shot by unknown gunmen early this week.

Police have this morning closed down the Masjid Noor Mosque along William Street over ‘terrorist links'.

The mosque led by Sheikh Yunus Kamoga, is majorly dominated by Muslims from the Tabligh sect that emerged in Uganda to aggressively popularize the teachings of Islam.

Eight men were arrested and are still being held at the Central Police Station for alleged terror links. It however remains unclear whether the arrests are connected to the murder of Sheikh Mustapha Bahiga, a Muslim cleric shot by unknown gunmen over the weekend.

Bahiga was shot four times in his limbs and once in his head at Bwebajja Mosque. His assailants, according to eye witnesses, fled on a motorcycle.

(Titled Irate Muslims at Entrance)

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cue out: ... batuleke tugende tuziikibwe"//.

Second sound; Titled ( Irate Muslim explains...)

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cue out: ... kuva wano insh'allah"//.

Third sound; (Titled Prayer leader explaining...

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cue out: ... police bwekola wano"//.

The closure of the mosque also comes just a day after the family of slain Sheikh Bahiga accused the Kampala leader of the Tabligh sect (Amiir) Sheikh Yunus Kamoga of organizing his assassination. According to their eye witness accounts, the slain Sheikh in his last words said Sheikh Kamoga had killed him.

Kamoga and Bahiga had been embroiled in a bitter wrangle for the leadership of the Kampala Tabligh sect of Muslims in Uganda. Part of the conflict is based on the management of assets of the Tabligh like the Masjid Noor Mosque. A day before his shooting, Bahiga had been controversially appointed by a section of the Tabligh Muslims to head them and also passed a vote of no confidence in Kamoga.

The bitter wrangle has now that has become a subject for police investigation.

Police Spokesperson Fred Enanga said the police was conducting investigations and had reason to arrest the 8 men. He refused to comment on whether the eight had been arrested in connection with the murder of Muslim clerics.

Sheikh Bahiga was the fifth Muslim cleric to be shot in a space of one year and the second in a week after Mayuge Sheikh Daktoor Muwaya.

Sheikh Kamoga is no stranger to controversy; he was cast in the controversy limelight when he stocked the fires that commenced the Nakasero Mosque wrangles.

Kamoga, an Amiir then, went to Nakasero Mosque with 30 Muslim youths who included Allied Democratic Front rebel leader Jamil Mukulu to claim the mosque from Hajji Twamulabirawo. They later took over the mosque until they were violently thrown out of the mosque by police.

The battle to take over the mosque led to 100 injured people and the death of a police officer and two police dogs. Kamoga later fled the country to Kenya and his contemporary Jamil Mukulu founded the ADF to fight against, among many things, the marginalization of Muslims.

Sheikh Kamoga later returned to the country to take over leadership of the Tabligh where he has been until the controversies resumed.
 
Police Chief Kale Kayihura promised mourners at Bahiga's burial that he would follow rather seriously the tips he had been given and also investigate who was behind the killings.

Police sources say the mosque will only be opened for prayers. No gatherings after prayers will be tolerated.
 
 

 

About the author

Raymond Mujuni
Raymond Mujuni is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Mujuni has been a URN staff member since 2013.

Presently a Law student at Makerere University, Kampala, Mujuni started out as a freelancer for URN in 2012.

Mujuni is an investigative journalist, especially interested in Security, Science and Technology. An avid sports fan, Mujuni volunteers with the charity organisation 40 Days/40 Smiles.