Muslim lawyers concerned over UMSC being denied chance to be heard in legal proceedings

Muslim lawyers concerned over UMSC being denied chance to be heard in legal proceedings
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The Uganda Muslim Lawyers Association (UMLAS) has expressed surprise and deep concern over the denial of an opportunity for Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) to be heard in the legal proceedings.

UMSC is facing legal challenges following a High Court decision to grant a warrant of attachment and sale of its prime properties, including the headquarters in Old Kampala, as well as other properties in Entebbe, Jinja, Mbale, and Nakasongola.

The situation arose from a land sale agreement between Justus Kyabahwa and UMSC in Ssembabule, dated June 24, 2020.

The agreement involved land occupied by squatters, and both parties agreed to lawfully remove the squatters within 60 days.

However, three days after the agreement, Justus Kyabahwa and his agents forcefully evicted the squatters, resulting in a lawsuit against UMSC.

Three years later, Kyabahwa sued UMSC for over 18 billion Ugandan shillings, and the court ordered UMSC to pay.

UMSC filed an appeal, but the case has not yet been heard by the Court of Appeal as of the latest update.

Subsequently, UMSC received an application for execution, seeking to attach and sell various properties, including the National Mosque in Old Kampala.

UMSC's application for a stay of execution was dismissed, leading to an appeal in the Court of Appeal.

On November 16, the High Court issued a warrant of attachment and sale for several UMSC properties.

Ali Kankaka, the president of UMLAS stated it is disheartening to witness a situation where such a crucial aspect of due process is seemingly overlooked.

"The denial of an opportunity for UMSC to be heard not only raises questions about the fairness of the legal proceedings but also undermines the integrity of the judicial system,"he said.

"UMLAS asserts that every party involved in legal matters is entitled to a fair and impartial hearing, and the denial of this right is a matter of serious concern," he added.

He asserted that every party involved in legal matters is entitled to a fair and impartial hearing, and the denial of this right is a matter of serious concern.

The lawyers formed a dedicated five-member committee with the purpose of gathering information and assessing the judgment on the matter concerning the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) and its prime properties that are at risk of being seized.

The committee's primary objective is to conduct a thorough and impartial examination of the legal aspects of the case.

This includes conducting a detailed review of the facts, analyzing the legal arguments presented, and assessing the implications of the High Court's decision regarding UMSC properties.

Kankaka stated that the committee consists of experienced legal professionals with expertise in relevant areas of law.

He emphasised that their diverse backgrounds will contribute to a comprehensive analysis and an informed legal opinion.

The committee is committed to swiftly reviewing all relevant documents, court proceedings, and information to provide a timely legal opinion.

The aim is to ensure that the legal rights and interests of UMSC are thoroughly evaluated.

UMLAS has expressed concern and is closely monitoring the ongoing developments surrounding UMSC.

Kankaka emphasised that as a leading Muslim organisation, UMLAS's mission is to promote inclusive public policies and implement competent, multidisciplinary legal, social, and economic interventions for the vulnerable.

While legal proceedings are ongoing, the lawyers appealed to all stakeholders and the public to exercise restraint and respect for the rule of law.

They emphasised the importance of allowing the legal process to unfold without interference to ensure a fair and just resolution to the matter.

Muslim lawyers addressing the media

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