The Inter Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU) has appealed to political groups to desist from creating militias because they have the capacity to put the country’s security at stake.

This appeal comes at a time IRCU and the country at large has learned with disappointment that some political groups are recruiting and training young people into vigilante (militia) groups as they prepare for elections.

Media reports in the course of the week informed the public that Maj. Kakooza Mutale, Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago and Mr. Amama Mbabazi, are purportedly recruiting militias.

Addressing the media at a press briefing held at the IRCU offices in Namirembe,  the Mufti of the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council, Sheikh Shaban Mubajje, who also sits on the IRCU Council of Presidents, appealed to the ‘ringleaders’ to immediately disband these groups as they risk putting national security at stake.

“In the meantime, we request the Uganda Police Force to investigate these groups with a view of holding the ‘ringleaders’ personally responsible for their actions,” Sheikh Mubajje said.

IRCU held the press briefing to also restate their position as Council of Presidents on religious leaders participating in partisan politics.

Religious leaders taking partisan positions and openly campaigning for candidates is against the resolutions agreed upon as religious leaders, during a meeting on 25th June 2015 at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala.

“We agreed that we shall remain non-partisan, impartial and independent to avoid dividing our congregations on the basis of the parties or candidates they support. IRCU, therefore, rebukes the actions of those leaders and de-associates itself from their actions. Those religious leaders should take personal responsibility for their actions,” Sheikh Mubajje said.

Speaking on behalf of IRCU, Sheikh Mubajje also urged political leaders to desist from the commercialization of politics.

He encouraged citizens not to solicit money from the politicians, but instead work for their own survival. He also requested politicians not to bribe the citizens to vote for them; rather they should present to them programmes that will have lasting and positive impact on the lives of citizens.

“We also encourage aspiring candidates to desist from using abusive and vulgar language, but to focus on the issues stipulated in their manifestos, which concern the nation,” Mubajje said.