Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda has told parliament that the Covid-19 guidelines including the 9.00 pm curfew still exist despite calls by different leaders from parliament for relaxation for Muslims to participate in Ramadan.
It is worth noting that Parliament including Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, Hon. Abdu Latif Sebaggala (Indep, Kawempe North) on 07 April 2021, asked the Prime Minister to consider lifting curfew or increase the hours saying that it has affected businesses.
Sebaggala added that in light of the upcoming Ramadhan period, the Muslim community would not be able to carry on with their activities.
“This matter is important and should be debated and yet the minister is submitting like any other MP; let us wait for Prime Minister and debate so that we get a solution,” he said.
This was responded to a day after by State Minister for Internal Affairs, Hon Obiga Kania who spoke on behalf of the Prime Minister, and informed the MPs that the National Task Force on Covid-19 is reviewing the Standard Operating Procedures including curfew.
Yesterday, in a statement from the Inspector General of Police Martin Okoth Ochola, all territorial commanders had been commanded to work with Muslim leaders in their localities to ensure that the Muslim faithful hold all their prayers in Mosques, including Taraweeh that goes beyond 9 pm, despite curfew restrictions.
This according to Minister Odongo was sent out in error and has been withdrawn.
In a set of new guidelines, Police Spokesperson Fred Enanga said that the night curfew has been maintained and will be adhered to by all, throughout the fasting period.
“We would like to clarify to the Muslims and the public at large, that the ongoing nationwide curfew, being implemented to curb the spread of the Coronavirus disease, will be maintained through the Holy Month of Ramathan,” Enanga said.
Enanga said that instead of that, however, Muslim faithful who will be caught up during the curfew time will be given ‘special consideration.’
He however announced; “The Internal Affairs Ministry is in consultation with the Muslim community regarding Ramadhan. It was established and advised by the leaders that the times that are critical will be from 8:00pm to 9:00pm and these are the times we need to consider while enforcing curfew.”
However, Rugunda today in a new twist reminded Parliament that the Covid 19 guidelines were put in place after extensive consultation from scientists by the President and thus should be continuously and effectively followed.
He, however, said the government is also aware of the impact of the virus on the country, businesses, productivity, and subsequently on livelihoods but urged everybody to stay patient.