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Government Declines Muslims’ Request To Have Curfew Lifted For Their Night Prayers.

Written by on April 13, 2021

The Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda has said that the curfew time will be maintained despite calls by Members of Parliament to have it lifted.

Rugunda was on Tuesday speaking during the plenary after Members of Parliament who called for the curfew to be lifted to enable Muslims to pray and fast freely during the period of Ramadan.

The government imposed curfew in March last year in a bid to curtail movement and curb COVID-19. Rugunda told MPs that information from the Ministry of Health and Scientists, indicate that the threat of Covid- 19 is still high.

He says that projections indicate that Uganda should not relax on COVID-19 because the number of positive cases reported have unfortunately started to increase, especially in urban areas, border districts and trading centers.

“His excellence the president will in the coming days address be addressing the nation with more details on this issue of curfew” he said.

However, Rugunda said that President Museveni will in the coming days address the Nation on the matter.

The Minister of State for Primary Health Care, Joyce Moriku Kaducu said that the fact that a new variate from the United Kingdom and South Africa has been discovered further strengthens the decision to stay the curfew. Kaducu also says that if 60% of the population is vaccinated, curfew can be lifted.

The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga said that the government needs to come with better reasons for not lifting the curfew.

Abdullatif Ssebagala Sengendo the Kawempe North MP says that curfew has become a money-making venture for the Police. He says that although curfew is in place, people are operating normally.

The Minister for Internal Affairs Jeje Odongo said that police has recalled a message they had sent out to Muslims that they will be excused past curfew hours.

Maurice Kibalya the Bugabula South MP says that the traffic jam in Kampala ends at close to midnight, but curfew still exists at 9:00 pm and this is not in the interest of Ugandans.

Latif Sebaggala (Kawempe North MP) raising a matter of National Importance in Parliament on Wednesday last week said that curfew hours should be adjusted to 11:00 pm or removed.

“We are going into Ramadhan and there are special prayers conducted during the holy month and end late. How will Muslims celebrate Ramadhan,” Sebaggala said. Curfew remains in place from 9:00 pm to 6:00 am

Sebaggala argued that month of Ramadhan was a period where Muslims boost restaurants by spending on meals to break their fast at the call of prayers in the evening. He said the curfew hours make it difficult to break their fast in restaurants.

Sebaggala said the curfew could not be implemented with some areas being affected more by the curfew than others.

Rebecca Kadaga, Speaker of Parliament who chaired the House said some flights arrive at or after 9:00 pm. Kadaga said this was beyond the curfew hours.

She noted that this affects travel and tourism. Along the way, departing and arriving air passenger can face difficulties with security officials she indicated. In other areas, bus travelers have been held up for violating curfew hours.

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