Rakai-Kyotera Muslims oust leaders over misconduct, theft

Rakai-Kyotera Muslims oust leaders over misconduct, theft
Mufti Mubaje

The lack of concern by Sheikh Ramadhan Mubaje, according to some council members, has exacerbated the situation.

In a decisive move aimed at upholding the integrity of their religious community, the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) has taken swift action against Rakai-Kyotera district Khadi Sulaiman Luyinda and his deputy Anwal Kaweesi.

The two sheikhs are accused of misconduct, abuse of office and theft.

The decision was made during the second meeting of the Rakai-Kyotera district Islamic religious leadership council, chaired by Sheikh Adam Musa Kiggundu, the district Islamic chairman.

Hajj Baker Kasagga, representing the area in the general assembly, presented a letter of complaint outlining five primary reasons for the expulsion of Sheikh Sulaiman and Sheikh Kaweesi.

Among the accusations were allegations of fraud, misappropriation of Islamic property, misuse of office, and theft.

Testimonies from council members further corroborated these allegations, leading to unanimous agreement on their dismissal.

The lack of concern by Sheikh Ramadhan Mubaje, according to some council members, has exacerbated the situation.

Allegations surfaced that concerns raised by the District Islamic Council regarding leadership appointments in Rakai and Kyotera were disregarded, fueling discontent within the community.

"It is our fervent wish for the mufti to allow us the autonomy to elect a district khadi and subsequently, he can consider appointing a deputy district khadi,’’ Hajj Kasagga appealed.

In response to the dismissal, the council unanimously passed a resolution appointing Sheikh Ibrahim Ssejingo as the interim leader.

Meanwhile, discontent among Rakai-Kyotera Muslims extends beyond the dismissals, with dissatisfaction over the appointment process for district leadership roles.

Despite the absence of a substantive district khadi, the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council constitution empowers local Muslim councils to appoint acting khadis to maintain the smooth operation of religious affairs.

However, frustrations have mounted as Mubaje has appointed acting khadis without apparent consideration for the interests of the district leadership.

This perceived lack of consultation and accountability has left council members perplexed and angry.

Moreover, concerns were raised about the authority of acting khadis to appoint deputy khadis, particularly without a clear mandate from the community.

In a meeting held at the Kyotera main mosque, council members resolved to send the appointed deputy khadi, Aniwalu Kaweesi, back to Mufti Mubaje for alternative deployments.

Accusations against Kaweesi, including reports of violent conduct and theft within the mosque, have further fueled discontent.

Council members emphasised the importance of high moral standards and qualifications for leadership roles, insisting that candidates must possess a Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education and a certificate in Muslim training from a recognised institution.

The district council has resolved to inform the Old Kampala-based Uganda Muslim Supreme Council of their decision to engage in the selection of a new khadi and his deputy.

Three names were presented for consideration, signaling a commitment to democratic and inclusive leadership processes.

Adam Musa Kiggundu, chairperson of the Muslim Council in Rakai, emphasised the community's desire for genuine leadership.

He called for the UMSC to conduct an exercise to elect a mufti who will represent the interests of the Rakai Muslim District.

"What our community urgently requires is for the UMSC to organise an inclusive process for electing a sincere mufti who truly represents the aspirations of the Rakai Muslim District," Kiggundu said.

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