An outspoken muslim cleric and university don has lectured president Yoweri Museveni Tibuhaburwa to stop mistaking anyone carrying an Arab/Muslim name for a genuine Muslim.
Imam Iddi Kasozi references Museveni’s fond brother Gen. Salim Saleh Akandwanaho who proudly carries the Muslim name but everyone knows he has never been one.
Kasozi, who is the Imam of Mawagga muslim community in Munnyonnyo and a lecturer at the Islamic University In Uganda (IUIU), after laying that background, counsels the President to stop characterizing ADF as an Islamic rebel outfit.
Alluding to Saleh again and Chef Ali, Kasozi illustrates that just because they happen to carry Muslim names, it doesn’t follow that the NRA was as well an Islamic rebel outfit as the President characterizes ADF.
Insiders have it that even President Museveni used to disguised himself as Kassim while fighting Milton Obote.
The trick was, according to insiders, to convince then Libyan strongman, Col Muamar Gaddafi to open the purse and buy arms for Museveni’s rebels.
Museveni has acknowledged both in writing and orally how the departed Pan-Africanist helped NRA with arms during the guerrilla war, but not that he disguised as Kassim.
NRA was a rebel group via which Museveni and Saleh fought a successful guerrilla war which toppled the regimes of Milton Obote and Okello Lutwa in 1986.
Kasozi proposes that other than referring to ADF rebels as muslims, the President must pause and figure out why they are fighting him because he can’t wish them away by merely characterizing them as an Islamic rebel group.
President Museveni has lately possibly under pressure from Muslim leaders, changed stance by saying he doesn’t necessarily treat all Muslims as rebels or even terrorists.
Coming to the newest rebel attacks at Digida bar and on a bus, Kasozi says it was wrong for Museveni to rush to conclusions by implicating what he called Muslims attached to ADF.
“How did the President come to that conclusion in absence of any arrest?, Kasozi wonders.
A terrorist group styling itself as Islamic state owned up to the double bomb attacks which claimed three civilian lives.
The group revealed in a statement following the attacks how it is operating in the neighboring the conflict-afflicted Democratic Republic of Congo and even threatened to carry out more surprise attacks on Uganda.
The terrorists didn’t reveal why they are targeting Uganda, but it’s believed they are doing so out of retribution over our successful military intervention in Somalia where other terrorists are fighting.
President Museveni quickly addressed the country and in his usual dismissive and combative style labeled the attackers as pigs whom he said, their days are numbered now that they have come nearer to Uganda.
Returning to Imam Kasozi, he dismisses talk ADF is populated by paupers lacking what to do and eat.
“Is Jamil Mukulu a poor person,? ” the Imam quips before counseling the President again to reflect deeply on why the rebels are fighting him and than casually dismissing them.
He is referring to Sheikh Jamil Mukulu the captured and under-detention as well as alleged top commander of ADF.
The Tanzanian authorities captured Mukulu while he had sneaked into the neighboring country to reportedly check on his wife and children.
Kampala called for his repatriation to face charges of murder, treason and terrorism and Dar consented to the request.
He has since faced trial, but refused to submit to the Uganda court jurisdiction, claiming the judges are serving the appointing authority not justice.
Imam Kasozi guesses the ADF could be fighting the government because they are disgruntled.
But, the ruling NRM party director of communications, Emmanuel Dombo challenges Kasozi to help the government understand the disgruntlement harbored by ADF.
“We have no idea why ADF is fighting the government, honestly. We ask Kasozi to let us know their grievances since he seems to know better than us,” Dombo states.
He pledges how the government is ready to talk to ADF if only they can table their problems other than using military means to grab power.