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MUSLIM YOUTHS THREATEN TO BOYCOTT 2021 ELECTIONS OVER MARGINALIZATION

By Isaac Wandubile

Members of the Uganda Muslim Youth Brotherhood say they will not participate in next year’s general elections unless they find a presidential candidate who agrees to bring members of the Islamic faith closer to the national cake sharing table.

Addressing reporters at Relax Guest House in Kansanga in Kampala on Friday, the brotherhood’s Chairperson Ssudi Ssentongo said he would rally youths to shun next year’s elections if no candidate commits to resolve their issues. The candidate, the youths further demanded, should commit to appoint a Muslim to any of these three top positions: Vice President, Prime Minister or Speaker.

The group has pledged to back any Muslim who will stand as a presidential election as long as s/he has potential. “If we don’t get a Muslim with that potential, we shall be ready to support a candidate who is going to sort the longstanding Muslim problems,” said Ssentongo. But the group added it would not “support any candidate who is sponsored by homosexuals and we are also ready to fight him or her day and night.” 

The issues they accuse the Yoweri Museveni government of failing to address include arrests and alleged torture of Muslim in terrorism and other capital offences. “Muslims are not terrorists. We are peace-loving people but we are always taken to be terrorists. This must stop and our brothers and sisters who arrested and being detained illegally should be released,” added Ssentongo.

Other burning issues touch on matters of appointments in top government positions. Saad Mutesasira Mwanje, the brotherhood’s publicist, complained that recent appointments in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) had left out Muslims. The brotherhood, which draws members from several organisations, including Muslim Youth Organisation against Poverty, Muslim Youth Assembly, Corporate Muslim Association, Muslim Medical Practitioners, and Muslim Lawyers Association, also want to meet President Museveni to ask him to intervene regarding these matters.

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