Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubaje, the Mufti of Uganda has reminded Muslims, especially in the West Nile region to reflect on Islam before anything else because of its historical significance as the earliest base as it arrived in their region.
“It is really saddening to hear that some elements have recently started planting seeds of discord within the faithful. What sound reasons have they advanced in convincing you to leave Uganda Muslim Supreme Council-UMSC, which was established by your son, the late President Idi Amin? Mufti queried.
He asked this at a well-attended sensitization meeting for Muslim Leaders held at Ihsan Mosque in Osu Central in Arua City on Monday 14th, 2022.
The meeting attracted the Northern Uganda Regional Assistant to the Mufti Sheikh Musa Khalil, his West Nile Counterpart, Sheikh Mahdie Mahmood, District Kadhis, County Sheikhs and Imams from West Nile and Northern Uganda.
The Mufti informed the Muslim leaders that shortly after performing the lesser pilgrimage Umra with the late Haj Asuman Mbubi and other Ugandans in 1991 in the holy City of Makkah, they bumped into the late President Amin at Jeddah International Airport where they exchanged pleasantries.
He revealed that the late Amin asked the late Haj Mbubi whom he knew personally to safeguard UMSC for good of Islam.
“It stuck in my mind that I needed to make my personal contribution to the Institution, which has come to pass,” the Mufti recounted.
He noted that the proponents of division among Muslims in Lango, West Nile and other areas of the country are former UMSC officials who failed to execute their mandate and refused to vacate their positions for new leaders.
“So, they end up claiming ownership of Council properties, which were under their jurisdiction and later claim to switch sides. We are not going to allow this to continue, and we shall do whatever it will take to recover Council property, which is still in the wrong hands in Koboko and Lira districts,” the Mufti vowed.
He also pointed to several development projects initiated by his office in partnership with several development partners such as Turkish Organizations and UNICEF among others.
The Mufti also promised to consider a request by the Obongi Woman Member of Parliament, Hon. Maneno Zumura to grant her area an independent district status.
He also expressed gratitude to three area Muslim Women legislators popularly known as “HAM “Hon. Hudah Oleru, the state minister in charge of Veterans and Aringa South MP, Hon. Avako Merisa Gule, Yumbe Woman MP, and their counterpart, Hon Meneno Zumura for their unwavering support towards Muslim community activities in the region.
He later urged the Muslims to participate in the nationwide UMSC polls, which are scheduled to commence this Friday by electing leaders who will strengthen unity and development within the Muslim community.
On his part, the UMSC Secretary General Hon. Dr Ramathan Mugalu took the participants through the unity drive that was initiated by Mufti, Sheikh Abdu Obeid Kamulegeya, the former Chief Kadhi of Uganda, Sheikh Muhammad Yunus Kamoga, the head of the Nakasero-based Jumiat Dawa Al Salafiya and Sheikh Salman Kasule Ndirangwa, the former head of the Kibuli faction.
“It is a shame that after all those who were at loggerheads with the council decided to return for the sake of peace and unity, to see that you are now embracing the remnants that fled Kampala in your regions,” he said.
“What are you expecting from these elements? Is it Islamic knowledge that you want to associate with some of them or you are looking for posts, that UMSC can’t create for you? Don’t allow those who are confused to confuse you”, Mugalu said.
He pledged to provide transport facilities as such Bicycles and motorcycles for Imams and County Sheikhs as the UMSC financial base improves, saying so far the Council is providing allowances to Regional Assistants of the Mufti and two other officers.
On his part, Sheikh Abdu Obeid Kamulegeya, the former Chief Kadhi of Uganda took the participants through his life experience as a Muslim leader for the past 60 years and reminded the Muslims in the West Nile region to understand that there is no way they can abandon their own baby UMSC, which is a strong symbol of unity.
“Even prior to the formation of UMSC the Muslims in the West Nile region were very instrumental in forging Unity when we established the National Association for the Advancement of Muslims in Uganda- NAAM. Your fathers have never been part of the Kibuli faction,” he said.
Sheikh Muhammad Yunus Kamoga urged the Muslims to elect leaders who will improve service delivery and not because of any attachments such as tribe, family bonds, sects or otherwise.
In attendance were UMSC Members of the Management, Sheikh Yusuf Isah Byekwaso, the former UMSC Secretary General, prominent sheikhs and local leaders among others.