Two politicians have joined the legal fight against government’s continued closure of places of worship as one of the measures to avert Covid-19 infections.
Ms Alice Alaso, the national coordinator for the Alliance for National Transformation (ANT), alongside Nakawa East MP Ronald Balimwezo Nsubuga, are joint petitioners in a case that was filed before the Constitutional Court on Wednesday last week.
The other petitioners are Michael Kiganda (pastor of Glory to Glory Ministries), Ms Evelyne Naikoba (an activist and advocate), Dr Zedriga Lina Waru Abuku (a practising Catholic), Mr Asuman Lule Semakula (the Imam of Nakawa market Masjid Noor Mosque), and Bishop Livingstone Mugabbi (a Bishop of the national fellowship of born again Pentecostal churches, Nakawa).
The politicians and religious leaders want court to declare that: “Rule 11 of the Public Health No. 38 of 2021 that provides for indefinite closure of places of worship and indefinite suspension of activities among them, prayers in open spaces, outside premises of churches and mosques is inconsistent with articles 20, 21 (1), (2) and (3), 29, 37, 42 and 43 of the constitution.”
“All your petitioners bring this petition in public interest and are ardent believers in constitutionalism, the rule of law and freedom of religion and have interest in matters herein which they firmly believe are inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution,” they add.
They also argue that it is unfair for government to allow other premises and businesses to reopen other than places.
“The impugned actions of the respondent (government) that led to the indefinite closure and suspension of places and activities of places of worship among them prayers in the open spaces, outside premises of churches and mosques while allowing other businesses and premises to operate is inconsistent with articles 20, 21 (1), (2) & (3), 37, 42 and 99 of the constitution,” the leaders state.
Following the outbreak of Covid-19 in March last year, the President imposed a raft of measures to curb the spread of the disease including closure of places of worship.
However, the President has since reopened the bigger part of the economy apart from places of worship and entertainment places such as bars and casinos.