Sheikh Ssemambo not authorised to act as Mufti

Sheikh Ssemambo not authorised to act as Mufti
Sheikh Ssemambo and Mufti Mubaje

Court has said that Sheikh Abudallah Ssemambo is not the Mufti of Uganda.

In response to reports circulating in certain media outlets, the Judiciary has provided clarification stating that Sheikh Abudallah Ssemambo has not been authorised to act as the acting Mufti of the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council(UMSC).

The clarification comes after reports falsely alleged that the High Court, on Thursday, December 21, had endorsed the decision of the Resident Judge Jinja, resulting in Sheikh Ssemambo's appointment as the acting Mufti.

The Judiciary, through an official statement, emphasised that Lady Justice Alexandra Nkonge Rugadya intervened by issuing a stay order to halt the execution and implementation of the resolutions made during the General Assembly on December 16 and 17, 2023.

These resolutions led to Sheikh Ssemambo's appointment as the acting Mufti. The stay order will remain in effect until the determination of the application by the same judge who issued the orders, in accordance with the law for the review of court orders.

Furthermore, the statement mentioned that miscellaneous applications No. 309 of 2023, No. 306 of 2023, and No. 307 of 2023 have been referred back to Jinja High Court for further hearing and determination.

The Judiciary called upon all parties and individuals concerned to maintain calmness and act responsibly while awaiting the final decision of the Court in Jinja.

The Judiciary emphasises the significance of patience and respect for the legal process as it unfolds in the pursuit of a fair and just resolution.

On Sunday afternoon, Sheikh Abdallah Ssemambo, the former first deputy Mufti of Uganda, was appointed as the acting Mufti to replace Mubaje.

This decision was made during a special session of the UMSC General Assembly held at Gangu Primary School in Wakiso district. Additionally, the assembly members initiated an investigation against Mubaje.

These actions were prompted by a court order that authorized Yudaya Babirye, Burhan Namanya, and Hussein to organize a special session of the UMSC General Assembly.

The court order, issued on December 12 by Justice Faraday Shamilah Bukirwa Ntambi of Jinja High Court, required the assembly to discuss the state of the UMSC and submit a report on the proceedings to the court.

Contrary to Ssemambo's appointment, UMSC Secretary General Abbas Sekyanzi Muluubya confirmed that Mubaje is still the legitimate Mufti of Uganda.

He emphasised that the council's rules clearly outline the procedures for suspension or impeachment, which have not been followed in Mubaje's case.

It was reported that on June 24, 2020, the UMSC, represented by its former Secretary General Ramathan Mugalu, Mufti Shaban Ramathan Mubajje, and former chairperson Abdulkadir Idi Balonde (deceased), sold two square miles of land in Ssembabule district to businessman Justus Kyabahwa.

However, due to existing lease agreements on the land, the UMSC failed to transfer ownership to the businessman or refund the money, resulting in a debt of 19 billion Shillings.

The High Court granted an order to attach various UMSC properties for the purpose of recovering the debt.

Nevertheless, the Court of Appeal temporarily halted the auctioning of UMSC properties, citing irregularities and malice in the attachment orders.

The ongoing controversy surrounding the Mufti's position appears to have roots in previous events, including the review of the UMSC constitution, the election period, and the December 2022 general assembly.

During the assembly, conflicts arose between the Hussein Bassajabala faction, led by Abdul Kyimba, and the Mubaje faction.

Bassajabala sought to reclaim the position of chairperson of the general assembly but faced opposition due to his previous impeachment, which rendered him ineligible under the UMSC constitution.

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