The leadership wrangles that have torn apart the members of the Islamic faith for several years, could come to an end after senior clerics kicked off the process of uniting muslims in the country.
There has been continuous wrangles among the Muslims community spearheaded by the leaders themselves over a number of issues especially the mismanagement of Muslim property.
This has fuelled divisions leading to the emergence of various factions such as Old Kampala, Kibuli, Nakasero and William Street faction under Sheikh Yunus Kamoga.
However, there could be peace on the horizon after the Mufti of Uganda Sheikh Shaban Mubaje and Sheikh Abdul Obeid Kamulegeya signed a deal to end the wrangles.
Sheikh Kamulegeya was a key figure in the Kibuli faction before he fell out with Prince Kassim Nakibinge.
Probably no Ugandan Muslim cleric has influenced affairs in the faith and beyond for so long a time as Kamulegeya.
According to sources, the Mubaje-Kamulegeya deal followed a series of secret meetings.
Sources told us that Kamulegeya’s team comprised: Sheikh Hussein Rajab Kakooza, the former Chief Kadhi and Director of Sharia; Sheikh Yusuf Isah Byekwaso former UMSC Secretary General 1986- 1991; Sheikh Muhammad Kamoga, thePrincipal Bilal Islamic Institute and Sheikh Musa Ssebumba, the former Kadhi Mityana in 1980s.
Mubaje’s team comprised: Sheikh Abdallah Ibrahim Ssemambo Tamusuza, the deputy Mufti of Uganda; Sheikh Muhammad Ali Waiswa, the second deputy Mufti; Haj Muhmood Kateregga, Sheikh Ibrahim Nkangi retired Kadhi West Buganda, and Members of UMSC management among others.
Mubaje revealed that he had never dreamt of the day when Ugandan Muslims without any external intervention or influence would agree to unite to find solutions towards overcoming the challenges facing their community.
“September 3, 2021 shall remain a historical moment in the annals of Muslim history. I am so delighted today for the unity drive we initiated five years ago between me and our elder Sheikh Kamulegeya before we disclosed it to our confidants,” Mubaje said.
Mubaje said he opted for round table talks and pursued other avenues to establish cooperation with other faith groups, which saw UMSC join the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda, African Religious Council and the World Council of Religions for Peace International.
In his remarks, Kamulegeya expressed his gratitude towards the deal adding that muslims have finally restored peace, unity and brotherhood.
Kamulegeya took his listeners through the memorable 85 years of his life journey that have seen him witness sharp wrangles and infighting among Muslims.
“We all agree that disunity has damaged our reputation and robbed us of all opportunities including lobbying for national cake and political posts in the government. So, I have resolved to come back for the sake of unity,” Kamulegeya said.
Going forward, the two leaders agreed on several grounds that will guide their relationship.
The grounds are:
- That Sept 3 2021 all Muslims agreed to unite under one leadership of UMSC and that UMSC is an umbrella body, which manages the affairs of all Muslims in Uganda provided other organisations shall work under its guidance and consultation.
- Muslim leaders and elders whose names are attached hereto are to be constituted into a body called Majlis Al Shura to be provided for in the amended UMSC Constitution as a tribunal and the resolution of the executive and joint session should seek to create the offices of deputies at all levels of the UMSC structure so as the positions are shared by all Muslim leaders.
- The leaders also agreed that that a property trust to manage all Muslim Properties in Uganda shall be constituted and provided for in the UMSC Constitution.
- The agreement also notes that additional members to the constitutional review committee shall be appointed and an official communication be made to that effect.
- All Muslims of goodwill are urged to send their proposals to the constitutional review committee through the office of the UMSC Secretary-General.