Sheikh Shaban Ramathan Mubajje, the Mufti of Uganda and grand leader of the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) has praised the late Amir Ssekikubo, one of the earliest, Muslim reverts in the Buganda Kingdom.
The late Ssekikubo was a royal servant in the Palace of Kabaka (King) Mutesa the 1st then at Lubaga Hill before he gave it out to Roman Catholic faithful in his Kingdom.
Mubajje said that although the late Ssekikubo lived his entire life as a Muslim, he features prominently in the history of the Catholic Church in Uganda.
Ssekikubo was in charge of the Highway from the landing site on the shores of Lake Victoria where foreigners heading to the palace would dock.
“In 1897, when the First white Catholic Missionaries arrived in the Kingdom, it was Sekikubo who led them to meet Kabaka Mutesa I. Due to security reasons, the Kabaka ordered Ssekikubo to host the missionaries in his homestead present-day Kitebi Zone in Lubaga division in Kampala for a month as he scrutinized them to make sure they didn’t pose any threat to the Kingdom,” he said
“The Missionaries didn’t forget the hospitality of their native Muslim host and wrote about him in their memoirs,” he added.
In the early 1970s, Pope Paul VI instructed the Late Cardinal Emanuel Nsubuga, the former Archbishop of Kampala to search for Sekikubo’s family. The search led to his son and grand Children including Hajjat Nusura Namutebi, a renowned scout and veteran UMSC Volunteer.
“The family offered land that was left behind by the late Amir Ssekikubo as a historical site where he hosted three white men and later the Catholic Church,” Mubajje added.
The late Cardinal Nsubuga requested the family to donate another piece of land for the construction of a Mosque in honour of their father, which the family did. Cardinal Nsubuga accepted to finance the construction of the two houses of worship standing side by side with Ssekikubo’s main house standing in the middle to date.
Every year on February 21st both sides organise memorial prayers to mark that historical event. TSheikh Mubaje presided over this year’s memorial prayers.
In his speech, Sheikh Mubaje recited the Holy Quran Chapter Hujurat – 49: 13 “O Mankind! We created you from a single(pair) of a male and female and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other (not that you may despise each other). Surely the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous.“
The Mufti explained that “What I have seen here is the spirit of the Interreligious Council, which we initiated a couple of years ago purposely to ease hostilities between different faith groups so that we examine such values that we share as humans.”
Adding that ” there is no need to abuse or talk ill of our Prophets Like Muhammad and Jesus (peace be upon them). So, Muslims use good language to invite people to Islam. And we share a lot in terms of accessing education, health services, trade, even facing natural calamities.”
Mufti expressed special gratitude to Hajjat Namutebi for the unwavering support to UMSC as an Institution and described her as a personal friend.
Earlier on the representative of the Church informed the Mufti and congregants about their plans to redevelop the area including the construction of larger and Modern structures.
Muslims are planning to construct a storied Mosque. The church has pledged to give support towards the Mosque project including rebuilding the historical house of the late Amir Ssekikubo.
In his concluded remarks, the Mufti instructed the UMSC Public Relations Office to compile the history of the site. In attendance were Members of the UMSC Management including Hon. Wahab Rugasa, the Administrative Secretary, Sheikh Muhammad Murshid Luwemba, the Secretary for Religious Affairs, Hon. Muhammad Ali Aluma, the Secretary For Social Services, Hon. Sheikh Juma Ali Shihuyu, the Secretary For Hajj & UMRA, Hon. Musa Lukwiya, the Secretary for Awqaaf, Members of Majlis Ulama Sheikh Munir Ssebintu and Sheikh Umar Ddumba, Haj Sulaiman Musana Kawanguzi UMSC Protocol Officer, Sheikh Hamid Sserwadda, the Kampala Regional Kadhi, Sheikh Burhan Ntambi, the Kadhi Lubaga Muslim District and other Leaders.