Government has called on the public to stop making speculations about what killed the Kibuli Mosque Head of Dawa, Sheikh Nuhu Muzaata Batte and former Tororo Diocese Bishop James Odong who both passed away on Friday.
Speaking at the funeral service of Sheikh Muzaata at Kibuli Mosque on Saturday, the opposition National Unity Platform (NUP) presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine called for a thorough investigation into the cause of Muzaata’s death.
Muzaata breathed his last at International Hospital Kampala (IHK) on Friday where he had been admitted for a fortnight.
Bobi Wine, who temporarily suspended his presidential election campaigns to attend Muzaata’s funeral, said without providing evidence, that there were questions that needed to be answered about the death of the outspoken Muslim cleric.
“I know that there are many people here and out there who have questions in their hearts about the death of Muzaata. I do have respect for his family, but I know that they are trying to be disciplined. Perhaps they have already received phone calls telling them to remain calm,” Bobi Wine said.
“I think that a report on an extraordinary person like Sheikh Muzaata should be out by now,” he added.
In a statement issued by the Minister of ICT and National Guidance Judith Nabakooba to mourn the passing of Muzaata and former Tororo Diocesan Bishop James Odong, the Minister called on Ugandans to stop speculating about the cause of the deaths.
“Let us spend less time speculating about the cause of death but reflect and learn from the life of these great people,” Nabakooba said.
Bobi Wine further recounted different cases of Muslims whom he said had died suspiciously and reports about their death never came out.
These, he said, include; his slain driver Yasin Kawuma who was killed in a violent by-election in Arua district in 2018, former Buyende DPC Muhammad Kirumira as well as a number of Muslim clerics that were violently killed through gun attacks.
“The authorities may think that condolences or money or a phonecall can wipe away the pain in their hearts,” Bobi Wine said.
One of Muzaata’s family members Musa Kakembo, while speaking at the funeral service, said that doctors at IHK tried their best to save Muzaata’s life but in vain.
“He was not very sick for a long time. He had lived with his hypertension and diabetes but recently he started complaining of pain in the joints and we took him to hospital. The doctors did all they could and we often discussed what kind of treatment he needed. And everything that could be done for him was done,” said Kakembo.
Meanwhile, in the same statement, Nabakooba said, “the Late Bishop James Odong was a servant of God who dedicated all his life to serving the Church. He was key in the establishment of Centenary Bank way back in 1983, an institution that has become central in development of our country. We mourn with the people of Tororo, the entire Catholic community and the country at large,” Nabakooba said.
Nabakooba also mourned Sheikh Muzaata who will be laid to rest today Saturday at his ancestral home near Matugga in Wakiso district.
“The country mourns the death of a great and outstanding Muslim leader. Sheikh Muzaata will be remembered for his ways as an open and direct speaker. He did not fear to speak his mind especially when he felt an injustice was being done,” she said.
“He (Muzaata) worked hard to deepen the Muslim faith and bring about reconciliation whenever serious differences came up,” she added.