Old Kampala and Kibuli have no other differences other than leadership. They all hold last funeral rights, Mauled, tahalil and tarakain, etc…So they are easy to reconcile. So the President should ensure that constitutional and electoral reforms are done and an acceptable Electoral Commission is put in place.
According to our New vision correspondents, about 800 Muslims attended juma prayer at Old Kampala national mosque. Registered voters are about 240. Only 45 voted. In the rest of Kampala, it was a total black out, the same with Masaka, with an exception of Rakai, Butambala, Kabasanda and Bugiobango.
It is only in Mayuge and Bugiri in Busoga, that there was reasonable participation where even Shias or Shites and non Muslims including drunkards, participated in some isolated areas. We have details in Bukedde tomorrow.
The President has today met only Kibuli group and all the details will be in Saturday Bukedde and Saturday Vision. The gist is that the president has said that he will weigh the turnout of today’s election to know how heavy Mufti Mubajje is. He however cautioned Kibuli not to block Old Kampala supporters from voting, which was poorly concluded yesterday any way.
UMSC constitution was made in 1972 and amended in 1986 not in 1971, just for record purposes. In the sixties we had NAAM, which, despite it good intentions, was an imposition to Ugandan Muslims but the illegitimate government of Obote l dictatorship that had abolished the 1962 Independence constitution during 1966-7 crisis.
In the eighties, there was application of force during Mulumba-Kamulegeya wrangles and we had thought that it had stopped. Now the most popular Shaban mubajje is protected by police from not being harmed by his Muslim flock. Mukama atusaasire.
Uganda Muslim Supreme Council must be for all Muslims in Uganda. They are all stakeholders. But now the clique at Old Kampala, just like the previous cliques, wants to use a winner take all strategy, to entrench themselves at the expense of others. When we ask for constitutional and electoral reforms they don’t listen. When Mubajje was politically campaigning for the post of Mufti, my sister Mariam Nakalema was his press woman. They moved the whole country and he was interested in referring to him as Mbale District Qadhi of all factions. He promised to do away with a Mufti leading up to the age of 75 years. He wanted a five year term, and a limit of two terms.
Upon election, he set up a constitutional review commission that never worked. In 2005, l came from United States and found him organizing a dinner for Muslims. l asked him to ensure that election of Muslim Council take place if UMSC was to get legitimacy and credibility it deserved. l had heard rumors that they were going to postpone themselves.Indeed they postponed themselves which was not even catered for in the constitution.It was during that illegitimate period that they started selling Muslim property.
Mubajje is not the only one that has tried to be Mufti for life. The framers of the constitution wanted it that way, but the late Sheikh Abadarazak Matovu lasted as Chief Qadfi for only two years. His successor the late Sheikh Suleiman Yusuf Matovu was also quietly removed by the late Idi Amin Dada.
By the way, the first UMSC administration was implicated in corruption. Amin did not convene a General Assembly. He just sacked them. When they resisted, he deployed military police and some of them escaped through windows. He named Suleiman Yusuf Matovu Mufti.
After the fall of Idi Amin regime, UNLF did not want to do with UMSC.
It’s military commission chairperson, Paulo Muwanga, went to Kibuli and told Prince Kakungulu Badru to head Muslims. Kakungulu declined saying that Muslims formed UMSC. He appointed Kassim Mulumba as Acting Chief Qadhi. But other groups like Africa Muslim Community Bukoto Nateete and Juma and Zukuri Sect were revived. Those are the owners of traditional mosques throughout the country. Majority of mosques in Bugisu belong to Bukoto Nateete.
Mulumba, who was a stooge of Paulo Muwanga, fell out with Kibuli and they named Sheikh Kivumbi Chief Qadhi. That was in 1980. Then in 1981, Kibuli named Kamulegeya Chief Qadhi. The Muslim World League came in through Kasamullah mubarak Zaid.
Mubarak Zaid deal of 1982 was short leaved, when Mulumba resigned and was replaced by Kamulegeya. Then he wanted to return and he could not. He waited for the okellos coup and made his own coup. Then NRM/NRA came in, and the two were reconciled in Mecca which paved way for an interim administration.
Elections were held and Luwemba was denied victory. He mobilized other Muslim sects and factions and they formed Uganda joint Council of Muslim Organizations under the late Sheikh Zaid Mugenyiasooka, to replace UMSC. He appointed the then chief Qadhi, Sheik Rajab Kakooza, his Secretary General.That is why in 1991, it was Mugenyiasooka that presided over the swearing in of Luwemba.
We should also remember the Mbarara conference of 1993. Prior to it, OIC and Muslim World League intervened and all Muslim stake holders were involved.
Since Mubajje has not changed UMSC for better but for worse, and since he has not been different from past leaders, it is high time we do away with UMSC. MUBAJJE, WHO DOES NOT WANT TO MAKE REFORMS AND ACCOMODATE OTHERS, and who do not want accountability and transparency, should form his own organization. He should not base at Old Kampala because that is property of all Muslims. Then we shall start afresh.
But practically, we can borrow from how our colleagues in Kenya and Tanzania do. In Kenya, there is a Muslim Supreme Council of Kenya under a chairperson. In Tanzania they have a similar organization. In Kenya, a Chief Qadhi is at a level of a High Court Judge and is appointed by Judicial Service Commission in consultation with the Supreme Council of Kenya. There are also District Qadhis appointed in the same way. He is both a spiritual and judicial leader. This is because under Kenya constitution, Qadhis courts are catered for to deal with marriage, divorce and inheritance.
Even under our own constitution, Qadhis courts are catered for. But there is not yet a law for operationalising them. We should have a Chief Qadhi at a level of a High Court Judge. We should have have Regional Qadhis and District Qadhis, all appointed by Judicial Service Commission in consultation with UMSC or a similar body. These are supposed to be graduates of secular law and shariah.
We should remember that prior to 2000 elections, Mubajje was advocating for four Regional Chief Qadhis. He wanted to be in charge of the east. He abandoned it upon becoming Mufti. We had Regional Qadhis in 1972 and Sheikh Zaid Mugenyiasooka was Regiona Qadhi Buganda Region. Busoga should have one, then Eastern one, Western , Southern, Northern and West Nile. Karamoja may be part of Northern or part of Eastern or even it may link up with Teso to have North Eastern.
The Mufti should be only a spiritual leader as Sheikh Shwaib Ssemakula and Sheikh Abdarazak Matovu were. We should avoid another Mufti being taken to court for criminal charges as it was the case with Mubajje. Fonder organizations of UMSC like Kibuli,Bukoto-Nateete-Wandegeya, Kawempe, and new ones like SPIDIQA and Tabligh or Salaf, should make a board of trusties under Prince Kassim Nakibinge Kakungulu to cater for our property.
Bukoto Nateete has a similar body. UMSC is not for an individual or a group of a few individuals. It is for all Muslims of Uganda. If not, people will form their own Supreme Councils as Kibuli did it recently and named a Supreme Mufti. But Old Kampala is not for Mubajje faction only. It is for all Muslims. If mubajje cannot listen to others, and make reforms, He should form his own faction and Old Kampala remain for us all.
SENIOR JOURNALIST- NEWVISION