Entebbe mosque in danger as ownership disputed

Entebbe mosque in danger as ownership disputed
Security officials settling mosque ownership

The police have increased security measures at a mosque in Abaita Ababiri near Entebbe following a conflict between two Muslim groups claiming ownership of the place of worship.

Last week, unidentified individuals broke into the mosque during the early hours of the night, damaging the fence and causing vandalism to more than 17 cars.

The Wakiso District Security Committee, led by the Resident District Commissioner Justine Mbabazi and her deputy Jackline Kakunda, along with other security officials, held a high-level meeting with members of the late Haj Bulaimu Nsimbe Memorial Mosque situated along the Entebbe Express Highway.

The meeting was convened in response to escalating clashes and tensions arising from the disputed ownership of the land on which the mosque sits.

The conflict emerged after Ibrahim Mwanje, the son and heir of the late Haj Nsimbe, who donated the land for the mosque, laid claim to the property.

Recently, unidentified individuals, reportedly supported by the police, attacked the mosque, escalating tensions further.

However, Muslim volunteers guarding the premises successfully repelled the attackers, who caused significant damage, including the vandalization of vehicles and partial destruction of the ongoing construction of the perimeter wall.

Local Muslims have accused various leaders, including Deputy RDC Jackline Kakunda and Entebbe Division Police Commander Kenneth Muhairwe, of providing security to Mwanje, whom they allege is disrupting the community and making arbitrary arrests of innocent Muslims.

Mwanje has also filed multiple court cases relating to the land, which are yet to be heard.

Additionally, he is purported to have sold a portion of the mosque compound to Emmy Ssegwanyi, leading to resistance from the Muslim community.

In response to the tense situation, Wakiso RDC Mbabazi called for a meeting to address the conflict.

During the meeting, Kakunda denied she supports Mwanje's claims to the land, affirming that she had advised him not to trespass on the mosque land until the court determines its ownership.

Her statements elicited mixed reactions from the attendees.

Abdul-Wahid Ngobe, one of the respected Sheikhs and a close confidant of the late Nsimbe, provided a historical account, explaining how the deceased had donated the land for Muslim activities, including the construction of a school and a health facility.

He appealed for assistance in preserving the mosque, emphasising that it was the late Nsimbe's wish.

Sheikh Muwonge, in charge of endowment/properties, presented technical details regarding Mwanje's alleged collaboration with land officials to forge titles.

He called for a thorough investigation into the matter.

Ali Aluma, the Secretary General of the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC), commended Mbabazi and her team for their prompt response and requested their assistance in recovering another prime land that had been illegally acquired.

Mwanje was asked to provide evidence supporting his claim to the ownership of the mosque land, but he failed to do so.

He was also questioned about his failure to share the proceeds from land sales with his siblings, as required by law.

Mbabazi directed Mwanje and his associates to refrain from tampering with UMSC property and ordered security forces to protect it until the court reaches a verdict on the ownership.

She asserted that the land belongs to UMSC and mandated Mwanje to share part of their father's estates with his financially disadvantaged brother.

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