In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
DIVISIONS AND WRANGLES AMONGST MUSLIMS IN UGANDA: CAUSES, ISSUES AND THE WAY FORWARD
Mukwanason A. Hyuha
Professor of Economics
And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allah (which He stretches out for you, i.e. the Qur’an) and be not divided among yourselves, … (Surah 3: Al ‘Imran, verse 103)
- 1. Introduction
This paper attempts, I hope successfully, to bring out and discuss causes of Muslim divisions and wrangles in Uganda at least since 1972. A way forward is also outlined. The coverage of the paper is as follows:
- Causes of Muslim Wrangles in Uganda
- Sale of Muslim Properties and the Wrangles (1972 to date)
- The UMSC Constitution and the Wrangles
- The Way Forward
I accepted to participate in activities of the Committee set up by H.E. the President of the Republic of Uganda for a number of reasons. First, as a Muslim from one of the most prominent Muslim families in Eastern Uganda, I am duty-bound to throw some light on the nature, morphology, and underpinnings of Muslim wrangles in Uganda as well as to suggest a way forward. My father, the late Al-Hajji Sheikh Asumani Wandera Muhwana, played a major role in the spread and sustenance of Islam in Eastern Uganda (particularly, the then Districts of Karamoja, Teso, Sebei, Bugisu, Bukedi and part of Busoga), while my brother, the late Al-Hajji Asumani Mugoya Mbubi, also played a significant role, particularly in the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) matters. Al-Hajji Mbubi was, among other things, a founder member of the UMSC and UMSC’s Vice Chairman for a long time—at the time the late Al-Hajji Prince Badru Kakungulu was the UMSC Chairman.
Second, I played an extremely significant role in the ascendancy of Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubaje to the post of Mufti of Uganda. I was an important, unforgettable member of the Kachumbala Caucus that consisted of Muslims from all over Uganda; and I was part of a strong, unbreakable machinery that successfully ensured that Mubaje was elected as the Mufti of Uganda, despite various odds. My major motivation for joining the Mubaje caucus was to ensure that the reign of the ‘old guards’ came to an end. This, I hoped, would ensure that marginalization of Muslims from outside Buganda, massive wastage, misuse and embezzlement of Muslim funds/properties by Muslim leaders, leadership of the Uganda Muslim Ummah by less enlightened Muslims and stagnation in the development of Muslims and their development projects would all end, and, hence, be relegated to the museum of Muslim history in Uganda.
Third, I was chairman of the Muslim Properties Committee (MPC) of the UMSC soon after Sheikh Mubaje was sworn in as the new Mufti of Uganda in 2000. The MPC is a sub-committee of the UMSC Executive Committee. Sheikh Mayanja Luyombya (then UMSC’s Secretary for Administration) was the secretary of the MPC. The committee was given a list of all Muslim properties as handed over to the UMSC by former President, Idd Amin, in 1973. By this time, many properties had either been handed over to returning former owners (Asians) or sold off by various UMSC administrations. We attempted to devise clean management of the properties. However, our efforts were frustrated by the Secretary to the sub-committee. I reported over five times to the Mufti as to how the MPC work was being sabotaged by Sheikh Luyombya; at least two of the reports were in writing. In all cases, the Mufti took no action. Consequently, I resigned from the sub-committee out of frustration. I did inform the Executive Committee during one of its meetings about this resignation and the reasons that had compelled me to resign.
Fourth, I have always felt that Muslims outside Buganda are highly marginalized. Two examples can illustrate the issue. One, most of the Muslim assets are concentrated in Buganda. In fact, many resources resulting from donor funds are concentrated in Buganda, yet the funds are donated to all Muslims in Uganda. Two, many Baganda—particularly conservative Baganda—want only Baganda Muslims to dominate all Government and other appointments. A case in point is when some non-Baganda (Nusura Tiperu, Mahiri Balunywa and Mukwanason A. Hyuha) were appointed by Government to the Council of the Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU) in March this year. Many conservative Baganda opposed the appointments; many came out publicly to declare that the three appointees did not include a Muganda; others claimed that the appointees were non-Muslims—yet some of them had served as members of the General Assembly, the Joint Session and the Executive Committee of the UMSC together with Prof. Hyuha since 2000. Many denounced these appointments in various sermons and speeches in (mainly Kampala) mosques and funerals, yet, honestly, many of these conservatives know extremely little about how a university is run or even the functions of a university as opposed to a Muslim family, social club, maddrassa, or mosque. Finally, it should be noted that Mr. Balunywa is from the famous Anas Kinyiri Family, one of the most prominent Muslim families in Eastern Uganda.
Fifth, as alluded to above, I was an elected member of the General Assembly, the Joint Session and the Executive Committee of the UMSC for over 10 years since 2000. I have been a very active member of the UMSC. For example, I was a member of the five-man delegation that visited Libya in 2000. The construction of the Gaddafi Mosque on Old Kampala Hill resulted from that important visit.
Sixth, in the mid-1990s, a group of Muslims and I organized a meeting of some Muslims from outside Buganda. The meeting took place in Jinja, and was well attended. The main objective of the meeting was to brainstorm over avenues, plans, strategies and associated issues related to the development of Muslims in Eastern, Western and Northern Uganda. This was because of the marginalization of Muslims outside Buganda. These marginalized, ‘peripheral’ Muslims wanted a voice of their own; an organisation to cater for these Muslims was to be formed. The organisation was, inter alia, to unite Muslims in its sphere of influence, to mobilize both internal and external resources for the good and development of the concerned Muslims, and to develop Islam in the area. Various committees were set up to come up with a constitution, a development plan as well as the vision and mission of the proposed organisation. This organisation, unfortunately, died a still birth, following infiltration by some conservative Baganda cliques.
Lastly, I was an active member of the Makerere University Muslim Students’ Association while a student at the university. I learned a lot of advocacy techniques with regard to Muslim issues during that time.
Hence, I feel I am as qualified as anybody else to discuss Muslim issues. I have participated in Muslim wrangles in one way or another; and the wrangles or divisions have impacted on me in various ways over time.
- 2. Causes of Muslim Divisions in Uganda: The Independent Variables
In this section, I present what I believe to be the main root causes of Muslim wrangles or factors that have led to divisions amongst Muslims in Uganda over time. These causal or independent variables include:
- Politics and Ideology
- Fight over Control of Internal and External Funds and Other Resources
- Lack of Separation of (Buganda) Royalism from Religious Issues
- Lack of Professionalism
- The old Muslims with low (secular) education vs the Educated Muslims
- Unemployment amongst the unskilled Muslims
- Poor Governance of Muslim Institutions
- Religious Decline/Decline in Faith (Iman)
- Lack of the Attributes of Secrecy and Confidentiality among most Muslims
As it is very well known, Islam in Uganda was introduced by Arabs during the 1880s. The spread of the religion started in Buganda, with a significant involvement of the royal family. The late Prince Mbogo played a major role in the spread of Islam in Uganda; so did Prince Badru Kakungulu. Hence, up to now, the Mbogo lineage is gratefully recognized by all Muslims as having played a crucial role in the introduction and spread of Islam in Uganda. In fact, Prince Mbogo is respectfully referred to as Jajja w’Obusiraamu mu Uganda, a title which was also enjoyed by the late Prince Badru Kakungulu and is now being enjoyed by Prince Kassim Nakibinge (the heir of Prince Badru Kakungulu).
This historical fact has led to many Baganda—particularly the conservative ones—to think that Islam is their exclusive domain. Hence, the Mufti should be a Muganda, other important national leaders should be Baganda, Muslim Government appointees to Ministries, Boards of parastatals, universities and related institutions should be Baganda. The conservatives appear not to be happy whenever a non-Muganda Muslim is appointed to a high-ranking post. In fact, a number of times these conservatives wish that these appointments are for people from only certain areas of Buganda, such as Butambala. For example, when Tiperu, Balunywa and I were appointed to the IUIU Council, one Muslim Muganda came out openly during a radio talk show to state that he was opposed to the appointments because all the three were non-Baganda (not non-Muslim)! Another example is that whenever Government consults certain Baganda high-ranking Muslims for suggestions of Muslims who should be appointed to Cabinet posts and various Boards or RDC positions, these (conservative) Muslims come up with names from only Buganda.. Even facilities and assets donated to Muslims by Muslim brothers outside Uganda are concentrated in Buganda for no obvious reasons other than ethnicity or sectarianism!
These obvious and unhealthy tendencies by the (possibly conservative) Baganda have led to great unease between Baganda and non-Baganda. This polarization of Muslims along ethnic or sectarian grounds, I strongly believe, is one of the major causes of divisions and wrangles amongst Ugandan Muslims. Some use this polarization to cover up their wrong deeds. For example, after being accused of selling off left and right Muslim properties, Sheikh Mubaje found it easy to inform Muslims outside Buganda—particularly in Eastern Uganda—that he is being hated because he is not a Muganda!
2.2 Politics and Ideology
Islam and politics in Uganda have always had an unhealthy marriage. Politicians have always exploited Muslim divisions and wrangles to advance their unsavoury causes or plans. For example, during Obote I, the National Association for the Advancement of Muslims (NAAM) was founded ostensibly to develop Muslims. A Minister close to President Obote was the chairman of the association, while prominent Muslim leaders and sheikhs became key members of the NAAM. Many of the prominent Muslim members of the NAAM were very well read in Islamic education and affairs, but with little secular education. Some of these Muslims would, for instance, go around trying to convince Muslims that the ‘word’ NAAM was even in the Holy Qur’an; hence, opposition to NAAM meant opposition of the holy book!
The NAAM polarized Muslims. As it was advocated mainly by UPC party members, many non-UPC supporters opposed it. There were serious quarrels—and even fights amongst Muslims in Ankole and other areas of Uganda. Some of the fights were inside mosques. Even Mauledis were interrupted, e.g. at the Bukabeba mosque in my home area.
Islamic fundamentalism has also led to divisions amongst Muslims in Uganda. Some members of some Muslim sects regard themselves as the only true Muslims; other Muslims not embracing such sects are regarded as non-Muslims.
To date, politics and ideology and Islam are so inextricably intertwined that the first two variables continue to be significant divisive factors amongst Ugandan Muslims. Many wrangles are a result of these two variables.
2.3 Fight over Control of Internal and External Funds and Other Resources
Muslims of the good old days were full of faith (iman). They worked relentlessly to spread Islam and preserve Muslim assets basically without any significant pecuniary returns. They hardly told lies or got involved in crimes or heinous sins. They worked for the Most Gracious, Most Merciful Allah who would reward them in any way He felt fit.
This is hardly the case these days; religious leaders of the old days have been replaced by modern religious entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurs care little about faith; they use the religion to maximize their individual or personal benefits and profits. For example, one aspires to become a District Kadhi so as to get access to funds and other resources available and accruing to the District. He uses religion to advance his hidden entrepreneurial ambitions.
So, there is a lot of competition not to serve the Almighty Allah, but to get access to funds and other resources from within Uganda and from donors outside the country. The ouside resources are mainly from Saudi Arabia, the Arab Emirates, Libya and Pakistan. This competition resulting from declining religious faith (less fear of Allah), I believe, is one of the important independent variables in the equation to explain Muslim divisions and wrangles in Uganda.
2.4 Lack of Separation of (Buganda) Royalism from Religious Issues
As noted above, as a result of the history of Islam—particularly how it was introduced and spread in Uganda, the line of demarcation between Islam and the royal family in Buganda is extremely thin and blurred. Islam and royalism are so intricately intertwined that the two appear inseparable in some quarters, particularly amongst many members of the Kibuli grouping of Muslims. Hence, republican or non-feudalist Muslims in and outside Buganda find it difficult to belong to the Kibuli group. This has also brought about divisionism amongst Muslims.
2.5 Lack of Professionalism amongst Muslims
Many Muslim leaders have a high level of Islamic education, but very minimal secular education. Hence, they do not possess adequate skills to be employable in the civil service, industry or other sections of the private sector; yet employment in mosques as imams and other Muslim institutions is too limited to employ all. In fact, there appears to be four groups of Muslims in regard to religious and secular education:
- A group consisting of Muslims highly educated as regards religious affairs—such as the Qur’an, hadith, sharia, and so on—but with little secular education. Many are highly fluent in Arabic, but have a poor mastery of English; they are, therefore, very comfortable preaching in Luganda and other local languages, rather than in English.
- A group consisting of well educated people: very good Islamic education and good or fairly good secular education. These persons can preach in a local language or English.
- A group with very high secular education, but with little Islamic education. These are unable to understand Arabic, but are very fluent in English.
- A group with little or no secular education and equally little or no Islamic education.
There has often existed a lot of mistrust amongst the four groups. This has also brought about misunderstandings, mistrust and unease amongst Muslims in the country. For instance, at meetings like the General Assembly of the UMSC, wastage of time occurs. There are always time-wasting translations at meetings from one language (Luganda, English or Kiswahili) to another or others. In these cases, efficiency is the victim.
Moreover, you find sheikhs with no knowledge of bookkeeping and administration camouflaging as cashiers, accountants and crucial administrators in certain Muslim organisations. Some are quite unemployable, despite their high, commendable Islamic education.
2.6 The Old Muslims with Little Secular Education versus Other Muslim Groups
There are often collisions between Group 1 and Group 3 as listed in the previous section; the two groups tend to dislike each other, while Group 2 fits in all situations much better. It should also be noted that sometimes there are divisions amongst members in Group 1 and Group 2, depending on where they obtained their Islamic education. Was one educated in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Pakistan or Uganda? So, the source of Islamic education often creates unease and sometimes mistrust, misunderstandings and wrangles amongst Muslims in Uganda. Moreover, the youth with latest Islamic education often regard the old as not well-schooled in Islam!
This is a simple but disturbing issue among the two groups of Muslims. There should be efforts aimed at preventing sending ‘secularly uneducated’ youth for Islamic education outside Uganda.
2.7 Unemployment amongst the Unskilled Muslims
As stated above, employment opportunities in mosques and other Islamic institutions are too few vis-à-vis the number of Muslims—particularly with minimal secular education—seeking employment. Many young Muslims with little secular education were sent abroad to study diplomas and degrees in Islamic studies, such as sharia. On return to Uganda, they have found themselves unemployed for the reason just stated.
These ‘secularly unskilled’ Muslims end up fighting over the extremely limited job openings in mosques and other Islamic institutions. These unhealthy fights over limited employment opportunities have often led to divisions and wrangles.
2.8 Poor Governance of Muslim Institutions
There are two major Muslim institutions in Uganda: the UMSC and the Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU). These are national institutions and big employers. The UMSC was founded in 1972, while the IUIU was established in 1988—to unite and develop all Muslims in the country, and to offer university education to Muslims, respectively, in addition to performing all other Muslim functions, like spreading Islam in the country.
These national institutions, have, unfortunately, been characterized by bad governance. This bad governance has been caused and sustained by, and, in turn, has led to the following:
- Ethnicity and other types of sectarianism have badly maimed the two institutions. This factor has particularly been manifested in employment patterns at the IUIU.
- Dictatorship has enjoyed an upper hand in the institutions. The end justifies the means; leaders of the institutions will do anything—ranging from telling lies to smear campaigns—so as to sustain their leadership, i.e. so as not to lose that leadership.
- Party politics has infiltrated them to the extent that even the institutions’ bone marrow is being eaten away.
- The moral fabric is also being wasted away. Leaders are no longer ashamed of telling lies to Muslims or massively wasting off or swindling institutional funds and properties/assets.
- Intrigues and counter-intrigues are common occurrences at the institutions.
- These leaders often find scapegoats for their failures. They cannot see the specs in their eyes. For example, when Mubaje finds himself in hot soup due to the alleged sale of Muslim properties, he is not ashamed to tell non-Baganda that he is in trouble because he is not a Muganda. And when Dr. Sengendo has allegedly security issues to answer and is excessively frightened by the appointments of the no-nonsense Hyuha and Balunywa (who has written many dossiers on the rector’s mismanagement of IUIU funds and other resources), he generates side issues and mobilizes his conservative Baganda henchmen to spread a diversionary message to the unsuspecting Muslim public.
- The institutions have become sources, generators and nurturers of all types of divisions and wrangles amongst Muslims.
Thus, poor governance has been a major factor in the generation and fanning of Muslim divisions and wrangles.
2.9 Religious Decline/Decline in Faith (Iman)
This issue has already been touched on; the Muslims and Muslim leaders of today are less faithful than Muslims of the good old days. They are less God-fearing than our forefathers. Their moral fabric and behaviour leave a lot to be desired. Hence, these days, the worst enemy of a Muslim is in most cases another Muslim, rather than a person of a different religious belief. Further, many religious leaders are arrogant, tell lies to unsuspecting followers and involve themselves in immoral activities, unlike in the good old days
This great loss of faith, I believe, is a significant explanatory variable in regard to Muslim divisions and wrangles in Uganda today.
2.10 Lack of the Attributes of Secrecy and Confidentiality among Most Muslims
Unlike Catholics who have a world leader of their faith (the Pope), Muslims are not so organized at a global level. The Pope plays a big role in uniting and guiding Catholics, in addition to solving potential religious and other disputes among the Catholics and their leaders. In fact, the Pope can summon a ‘misbehaving’ church official and detain him in Rome for as long as he wants (e.g. like he did to Archbishop Milingo of Zambia in the 1970s).
No such figure, like the Pope, or institutional set-up exists for Muslims.
Some of the attributes the existence of the institution of the Pope has inculcated amongst Catholics are secrecy and confidentiality. Discussions in churches and other religious meetings are kept confidentially—high secrets to Catholics alone and hardly divulged to non-Catholics. Other Christians appear to have similar behaviour. However, Muslims do not appear to respect these attributes of secrecy and confidentiality. No sooner is a matter discussed in a closed Muslim meeting or mosque than it is divulged to non-Muslims. Muslim disagreements and quarrels are an open secret, whilst such matters among other religions are discussed in secrecy. Muslim affairs are discussed in the news media, or mosques during khutbahs, or at funerals, etc. That is, Muslims, unlike followers of other faiths, are fond of washing their dirty linen in public!
This, I believe, is another set of important independent variables in explaining divisions and wrangles amongst Muslims in Uganda.
- 3. Sale of Muslim Properties and the Wrangles (1972 to date)
It has been claimed in some quarters that sale of Muslim properties is the major cause of the current divisions and wrangles amongst Ugandan Muslims. This is far from the truth. Sales of properties, embezzlement of funds, misuse of Muslim assets and other resources, and dishonesty and mischief among Muslim leaders are as old as the UMSC itself.
It is an undeniable fact that at the birth of the UMSC, President Idd Amin Dada gave the Old Kampala Hill (minus Lugard’s monument) to UMSC. The new body kept on accumulating its own properties as time went on. On September 27, 1973, President Idd Amin handed over 233 properties (previously owned by some of the expelled Asians) to the UMSC.
When Sheikh Mubaje became Mufti in 2000, many of the 233 properties had either been returned to previous Asian owners or sold off by the administration at Old Kampala. Some properties had been dubiously seized by debtors. An example will do here. The UMSC owned a housing estate at Najjanankumbi and another on Plot 2 Hoima Road, among others. By 2000, out of the 18 houses comprising the Najjanankumbi estate, only one (the official residence of the Mufti) was left; the 17 no longer belonged to the UMSC. Some had gone during Sheikh Kakooza’s reign, others during the late Sheikh Luwemba’s reign, and so on. There are two reports of Committees of Inquiry that show in no uncertain terms that Mufti Mubaje and his regime also sold off quite a number of Muslim properties, in addition to alleged embezzlement of funds. Hence, the sale of Muslim properties appears to cut across all UMSC regimes since 1972.
.These sales are, therefore, not the main cause of Muslim divisions and wrangles. They have only aggravated the divisions and wrangles. The sales are the petrol that has been poured on dry wood that had already caught fire (divisions and wrangles brought about by the 10 variables explained in the previous section); the wood is now burning almost beyond limit. Removal or stoppage of the fuel action will definitely not extinguish the intense fire; the dry wood will continue burning, albeit at a slower pace. It is the dry wood that must be removed as of now.
- 4. The UMSC Constitution and the Wrangles
The UMSC constitution, as amended and approved on December 5, 1986, has a number of weaknesses and loopholes. The Mufti who can assume power at the age of 40 can be in office until he clocks 70 years; the Director of Sharia until 65 years and a member of the Majlis Al-Ulama until he is 70 years. This is a big hurdle to those aspiring to assume any of those posts.
4.1 The Age Factor
In my opinion, the age factor is the first problem with the constitution. If one lands a good, faithful Mufti, it is fine; he can be in power up to 75 or more. However, with an unfaithful, dishonest and dictatorial Mufti—allergic to telling the truth and money-hungry—the age 70 is a serious problem. Bad leaders must be gotten rid of as soon as possible.
This problem can be mitigated if term limits are introduced. The Mufti should be in power for, say, 7 years (like the Secretary General), re-electable once.
4.2 The Management Committee (Article 12)
The Mufti is both the spiritual head of Muslims in Uganda and the chairman of the Management Committee (Articles 5 and 12). As chairman of the Management Committee, he gets involved in the day-to-day running of the administration, yet the Secretary General is the chief accounting officer (Article 13(4)). This may cause bad blood between the Mufti and the Secretary General. For instance, Mufti Mubaje was the principal signatory to a number of (if not all) UMSC accounts, despite strong protestations by the Executive Committee. He gave up this role when the accounts after some time hardly had money on them, i.e. when account balances were in the neighbourhood of zero.
I propose that the Mufti should just be a spiritual leader. Management or administration should be left to the Secretary General, who, after all, the constitution recognizes as the one in charge of all other Secretaries This suggestion may not be acceptable; but, the point is that the Mufti should handle only spiritual issues. He should not be entangled in administrative matters and controversies. Somebody else should head administration.
4.3 Qualifications for the Office of Mufti (Article 6)
Whereas the Director of Sharia should be “fluent in Arabic language and having a working knowledge of English” (Article 7(d)), no English requirement is stated for the Mufti. Modern Uganda with so many Muslims fluent in both Arabic and English deserves a Mufti with at least “a working knowledge of English”, in addition to fluency in Arabic and a degree in sharia. This is my considered opinion.
4.4 Quorum at Meetings
Article 17(8) states that the quorum at meetings of the General Assembly, the Joint Session, the Executive Committee, and meetings of other UMSC bodies shall be one-third of the members of the body or organ concerned. The constitution does not discuss the quorum by representation. This is a serious loophole. To illustrate, take the example of the membership of the General Assembly. Assume there are 26 Muslim Districts with 20 large ones and 6 small ones, population-wise. By Article 2, the big Districts will send 100 representatives to the Assembly, 20 of whom will be District Kadhis. The small ones will contribute 18 members to the Assembly, 6 of whom will be District Kadhis. Taking into account the 8 specially elected members, the Assembly will consist of 126 members, 26 of whom will be District Kadhis.
The Kadhis, given the way they are appointed, owe their allegiance to the Mufti, who is free to dismiss or discipline any of them at any time. Hence, one can raise a quorum by having 26 Kadhis plus 16 members elected by Districts through electoral colleges and the 8 specially elected. Mufti Mubaje understands this quorum issue very well; he can cause a meeting of the General Assembly with many of the elected representatives uninvited (and, therefore, absent), but with all the Kadhis around (present). An example is the bogus meeting that sanctioned the creation of 24 new Districts and, thereafter, dissolved the General Assembly.
This issue needs attention during the review of the current constitution.
4.5 Lack of Constitutionalism
On a number of instances, the constitution has been violated intentionally in broad day light. Two examples can illustrate this issue:
- Article 9 outlines very clearly the procedure for removing or impeaching the Mufti, the Chairman, their deputies, and the Secretary General. Al-Hajji Muhammad Adrama was duly elected as the Chairman of the UMSC in 2000. He was, however, removed through unconstitutional means. On the fateful day, he chaired a meeting of the Joint Session during the morning. During lunch time, he rushed to town to attend to urgent personal matters. The meeting resumed soon after the lunch break under the chairmanship of Al-Hajji Adrama’s deputy. By the time Al-Hajji Adrama returned, hardly an hour after the resumption of the meeting, he had been removed from chairmanship! This was effected despite my strong and loud protestations. Thereafter, Al-Hajji Adrama was told in a rude manner to join the backbenchers, for his deputy had been installed as an acting chairman. Al-Hajji Adrama obliged.
- The work of the Appointments Board under Mufti Mubaje’s regime was basically inexistent. It was taken over by Mubaje and his henchmen. So, many appoinrments were done outside the Appointments Board. For instance, although I was a member of the Board—under the chairmanship of Engineer Abbas Mugisha—I do not know how Al-Hajji Mutumba was appointed to the post of Public Relations Officer. The Board chairman also had no knowledge, so he told me. In any case, I do not remember whether such a post were ever created by the Executive Committee or any other legal UMSC body. Mutumba is just one example of numerous such dubious appointments.
This is very sad. How do we guard against such acts in future?
- 5. The Way Forward
This issue of the way forward needs deeper thinking and a lot of brainstorming. Due to pressure of work and the short time I have had to prepare this paper, I have not engaged in acts of debating these issues with colleagues of mine. However, I can hazard and outline some suggestions as follows:
- A discussion of the 10 causes of the wrangles must take place. If this needs the convening of a national conference, then let it be.
- The constitution needs urgent review. Issues discussed above, among others, must be attended to during the review.
- Both the current leaderships of Old Kampala Hill and Kibuli Hill must vacate office so as to start on a clean slate. We must create a win-win situation, as opposed to a loser-winner game product/outcome.
- Institutions and systems must be devised to ensure prevalence of constitutionalism and to guard against excesses in administration.
- The Mufti should just be a spiritual leader, as discussed above.
- Intensive screening of applicants to the post of Mufti (and Kadhis and other important posts) must be done. It is, for instance alleged that Sheikh Mubaje committed the same ‘sins’ as the District Kadhi of Mbale. If this is true, this information was, unfortunately, not available at the point of his election to the post of Mufti of Uganda in 2000.
- Muslims should be intensively and extensively sensitized, so that they love their religion more, they keep secrets, they are confidential, and they are not enemies of one another.
- We need Almighty Allah’s intervention as soon as possible.
August 2, 2012
 The other members of the delegation were Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubaje, Sheikh Abbas Mukasa, Al-Hajji Idris Kasenene and Al-Hajji Habib Kagimu.