The gruesome murder of Sheikh Hassan Kirya, the spokesperson of the Kibuli-based muslim faction last night has shocked most Ugandans into deadly silence as others worry the government is covering up the murder of innocent people.
Sheikh Kirya was assassinated at Kireka, a suburb of Kampala at around 11pm by someone who was travelling on a bodaboda. The Police says that four other people were shot by Kirya’s killers as they fled the scene on crime.
Sheihk Kirya joins a growing list of Muslims who have been gunned down by people travelling by boda boda. They include, Shiite Leader Sheikh Dactoor Muwaya of Mayuge, Sheikh Mustafa Bahiga who were both killed around Christmas last year.
Other top muslim clerics Sheikh Abdul Karim Ssentamu and Hajj Abubaker Kiweewa were killed in 2012.
Sheikh Abdulrashid Wafula, the Imam of Bilal Mosque in Mbale Town was gunned down on May 21.
But beyond the shock that Kirya’s death brings, many Ugandans are expressing anger and disappointment about the failure by the government especially those in security agencies, not only to protect the lives of people, but also their failure to fully investigate the mystery behind the killings and the bring the killers to book.
Ramathan Ggoobi, a lecturer at Makerere University Business School (MUBS) posted on facebook: “Who’s killing #UgandanMuslims & other people? Why no one seems to care? Why should IGP Kayihura retain his job when people are being killed at this rate? Who will stop these killers? #AmAnnoyed,” The hash sign is part of social media lingua to symbolize trending topics.
Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago also expressed shock about the murder as well as doubt about police’s capacity to protect the lives of Ugandans.
Lukwago said: “am short of words to express the grief and shock with which i received the news of the gruesome murder of yet another prominent muslim cleric, Sheikh Ibrahim Hassan Kiryangenjovu.”
Lukwago added: “Gen. Kayihura assured the Nation that they had provided security to all Muslim leaders; what really happened? Were the bodyguards also killed? Inna lillahi wa inna illaihi rajihoon.”
The deepening mystery about who is killing Ugandan muslims adds the concerns about the country’s growing state of insecurity and sentiments that prevailing peace is unsustainable.
This is especially after Police chief Gen. Kale Kayihura pledged to provide police protection to prominent muslim clerics including the late Kirya, after it emerged that the lives were in danger.
Following the murder of Sheikh Dactoor Muwaya, Gen. Kayihura said security had confirmed the murders were linked to the rebel Allied Defense Forces (ADF).