Date: November 11, 2021
Police arrest two suspects, looking for others.
By Our East Africa Correspondent
Mosque in Uganda. (ctsnow’s, Creative Commons)
NAIROBI, Kenya (Morning Star News) – Muslim extremists in eastern Uganda are suspected in the killing of a 60-year-old Christian elder who had led Muslims to Christ, sources said.
The decapitated body of Alex Mukasa of Busandha B village, Bukoova Town council in Luuka District, was found on Oct. 17. He had left home on Oct. 16 and did not return that day as expected, his brother said.
“I waited for my brother, but he never returned back home,” Elukana Kyotanalya told Morning Star News. “It was at 7 a.m. on Oct. 17 when I got information that his motorcycle was abandoned along the Bukoova road, and that his body was beheaded and dumped in a sugarcane plantation. The assailants carried away his head.”
Mukasa, elder of an area Church of Christ congregation, had received threats from local Muslims that he should leave the village for leading three Muslims to put their faith in Christ, Kyotanalya said.
“He was given two weeks to vacate the place before he would meet his death,” he said.
Farmers planting rice found Mukasa’s head in Nabisira swamp several days later, Kyotanalya said.
Police arrested two suspects, Ibrahim Galandi and Abubakari Bunyinza, who had threatened Mukasa and other Christians, sources said. District Police Commander John Fautine Oese said officers were also searching for other suspects “not from heaven,” that is, from the local community.
“The murderers are not from heaven but from the community, so we call upon the community to give us information about the incident which can help us in arresting those behind this brutal murder,” Oese said.
A Christian convert from Islam said he suspected there were at least five assailants.
“He was a peaceful man whose murder shook the community members and the Church of Christ at large,” said the Christian, unidentified for security reasons. “He was a very respectable elder and leader who frequently offered timely advice and God’s messages to warring parties within our community. We were shocked to find out that he had been butchered by Muslim extremists.”
The assault was the latest of many instances of persecution of Christians in Uganda that Morning Star News has documented.
Uganda’s constitution and other laws provide for religious freedom, including the right to propagate one’s faith and convert from one faith to another. Muslims make up no more than 12 percent of Uganda’s population, with high concentrations in eastern areas of the country.