UMSC Ranches, Part 8: Reconciliation attempts begin

After the meeting, the sheikhs signed an agreement committing to work together and share the National Offices.

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By Zziwa Ashiraf

Rabitat Al Alam Al Islami (Muslim World League) based in the Royal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia felt concerned about the plight and suffering Ugandan Muslims went through during the 1979 war and the subsequent disturbances among them.

As a result, the late Sheikh Muhammad Ali Hakaran, then Secretary-General of MWL extended invitations to Sheikh Kassimu Mulumba, the Chief Kadhi and Sheikh Maulana Abdu- Razak Matovu who went in his capacity as the Kibuli group representative and Uganda’s representative to the board of the Muslim World League in Makkah.

Both Sheikhs honoured the invitations and travelled to Saudi Arabia. The reconciliation meeting took place at Muslim World League Secretariat in Makkah on June 19th, 1981.

After the meeting, the sheikhs signed an agreement committing to work together and share the National Offices.

Under the agreement, Sheikh Kassimu Mulumba retained his executive powers as the Topmost leader and Chief Kadhi of Uganda while Sheikh Matovu was to assume the ceremonial office of the Mufti with the limited role of handling religious matters such as the interpretation of Holy Quran and Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ( PBUH).

However, the confidants of both principals outrightly rejected the agreement on grounds that they were not consulted.

This left Sheikh Abdu- Razak Matovu in an awkward position because he had negotiated for himself an office leaving out his superior Sheikh Abdu Obeid Kamulegeya.

Following advice from his camp, Sheikh Abdu- Razak Matovu also publically denounced the agreement, saying that he didn’t fully comprehend the colloquial Arabic Language used and that it was after his return that the terms of the agreement were explained to him, which he couldn’t accept.

On the other hand, the supporters of Sheikh Mulumba seemed to have interest in the title of the Mufti and decided to address him both as the Chief Kadhi and Mufti in addition to many other titles.

The author is the Spokesperson of the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council.

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