Muslim, Christian MPs Clash on Terrorism Debate

Hon Muwanga Kivumbi was up in arms against his Christian counterparts during the committee meeting

The lady volleyball Cranes have a day off as the All Africa games qualifiers enter day four. The Ugandan team lost their second straight game on Thursday morning to Ethiopia and will be back on court to play Kenya on Saturday night in the closing game.

The hosts started in good form beating the Ethiopians 25-18 in the first set. Coach Bart Muting opted to start with Saidat Nnungi, about it see Peace Busingye, medicine Margaret Namyalo, Astreede Agaba, Winnie Nakabuubi and Zaina Kagoya.

The lanky visitors came back with a different strategy resorting to blocking the cranes who appeared shorter. Their efforts paid a lot in the second set beating Uganda 25-19. They further inflicted damage by claiming the third and fourth sets by 25-17 and 25-13 respectively.

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The loss now means the lady Cranes realistic chances of qualifying are virtually over and will come into the final game just for formality.

Egypt will play their final game today against Ethiopia in the second fixture while the first fixture will pit Uganda’s next opponents’, Kenya against tournament’s underdogs, Burundi.

A win for Kenya and Egypt will seal the qualification spots while a win for Ethiopia will raise their hopes coupled with the fact that they will face Burundi in Saturday fixture.

A Parliamentary committee meeting came to a standstill on Thursday when Muslim and Christian Members of Parliament dramatically turned on each other on the contentious terrorism debate with the members of police leadership.

The contention on any debate in Parliament is always traditionally between the ruling party and the opposition members, buy more about but Thursday witnessed a strange scenario when some members ditched their political party affiliation to defend their spiritual denominations

The incident started when the Muslim MPs accused police of being selective in the fight against terrorism and targeting to suppress the growth of Islam in the country. Hon Muwanga Kivumbi who described himself as representing the “Mecca” in Uganda, search and Obongi county MP, ambulance Fungaroo Caps told the committee that the closure of Madrassa (Muslim elementary schools) and mosques was in contravention of their rights and police should stop it.

“Madrassas being targeted and closed by the police in the name of fighting terrorism is a systematic move to check on the growth of Islam in this country. I and many leaders in this country just like majority Muslims went through Madrassa and we are not terrorists. We want a comprehensive explanation,” Kivumbi said.

However before the minister of Internal Affairs Gen. Aronda Nyakairima who led the police team could respond, the Christian MPs jumped in to “correct” their colleague who they believed had strayed by mixing in the religious feelings.

“Before the minister comes in I want to inform the fellow colleague (Kivumbi) that closing Madrassa or Mosques is not abolishing them and cannot in any way be perceived as trying to stop the growth of Islam as he is misleading this committee,” MP Simon Mulongo said.

Hon Fungaro then butted in to side with Kivumbi, saying there are countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran targeted by the terrorists more than Uganda but they have Muslim teaching schools and have avoided terrorism attacks for decades.

Before they could finish Mulongo supported by his Christian colleagues hoisted his iPad up showing the googled pages of tens of Muslim schools closed in Saudi Arabia and hundreds in Egypt during ousted Hosni Mubarak`s rule and after the toppling of his successor Mohamed Mursi; all linked to terrorism activities.

The chairperson of the committee, Benny Mugwanya tried to weigh in several times but there was no breakthrough up until when Aruu county MP, Samuel Odonga Otto came in and urged his fellow Christian members to leave the matter.

Otto however, lightheartedly told Fungaro Caps that there was conflict of interest within them (Muslims), questioning the police on why Muslim institutions are being targeted. Fungaro didn’t take it lightly and responded attracting the attention of Kivumbi who amplified it.

Gen. Aronda in his remarks however said Uganda is a secular nation where everyone has freedom of religious participation and there is no plan to suppress any religion. He maintained that police is strictly following the law and the Muslim facilities closed were harboring guns.

“A Mosque or a Madrassa is not armory for guns to be kept. We found guns in some of them and that is why they had to be closed as investigations take course.” Aronda said.


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