Relatives, Friends Break Down as Muslim Clerics Get Lengthy Sentences

2782 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Sheikhs Muhammad Yunus Kamoga, Siraji Kawoya, Murta Mudde Bukenya and Fahad Kalungi were sentenced to life imprisonment while Yusuf Kakande alias Abdallah and Abdusalam Sekayanja alias Kassim Mulumba are to spend 30 years in jail.

Relatives and friends wailed on Tuesday as court handed lengthy sentences to six Muslim clerics found guilty of terrorism.
 
Sheikhs Muhammad Yunus Kamoga, Siraji Kawoya, Murta Mudde Bukenya and Fahad Kalungi were sentenced to life imprisonment while Yusuf Kakande alias Abdallah and Abdusalam Sekayanja alias Kassim Mulumba are to spend 30 years in jail.
 
It was a tense moment as Justice Ezekiel Muhanguzi read the sentences on behalf of the two other judges, Percy Tuhaise and Jane Kiggundu of the International Crimes Division of the High Court. As soon as Justice Muhanguzi read the sentences, the relatives broke down and cried.
 
Many were overwhelmed and could hardly articulate how they felt. Some shouted angrily accusing government of targeting Muslims.
 
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Silajje Kifampa Nsambu, the spokesperson of Jamiatul-Dawa-Issalafia speaking after the sentence said that as the Muslims of Tabliq sect, they will not accept the sentence arguing that the judges were political.
 
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Kifampa said this amidst cries from the Muslims around the court premises. He urged those crying to be strong in such times.
 
Luganda
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Fred Muwema, the lawyer for convicts described both the conviction and sentences as unsound, high-handed and excessive, saying they are going to appeal with the hope that they will be overturned.
 
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The six clerics, together with eight others have been battling charges of murder, attempted murder and terrorism in relation to the murder of Mustafa Bahiga, the former Kampala District Amir and Hassan Ibrahim Kirya, the former Spokesperson Kibuli based Muslim faction. They were also accused of attempted murder of Dr. Harouna Jjemba, the leader of a rival Tabliq faction. The murders were carried out on separate dates and diverse places in Kampala and Wakiso districts between 2013 and 2015.
 
However, court on Monday exonerated all the accused of the murder and attempted murder charges, saying prosecution had failed to adduce convincing evidence of their involvement in the crime.
 
The same court found the six guilty of terrorism when they printed fliers with the names of those listed for murder, distributing them in numerous mosques, holding meetings in their homes from where they planned the killings and sending threatening messages to their victims.
  
Those acquitted of all counts are Amir Kinene, Hakeem Kinene, Abdul Rashid Sematimba, Hamza Kasirye, Twaha Sekitto, Rashid Jingo, Musa Isa Mubiru and Yiga George William.

 

About the author

Davidson Ndyabahika
Davidson Ndyabahika is a Journalism major from Makerere University and is passionate about investigative and data journalism with special interest in feature story telling.

He has gone through digital and multi-media training both at Ultimate Multimedia Consult, and has attended Data Journalism Sessions at ACME to enrich his capacity in data journalism.

Davidson has previously freelanced with The Campus Times, The Observer, Chimp reports and URN. He is currently reporting under Education. He is also passionate about reporting on environment, health, crime and political satire writing.

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