UMSC Ranches, Part 11: Early crack in muslim unity

The sponsored Scholarships from various Universities abroad were also distributed to Students who left for studies to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq and majority of them were from Central region.

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By Zziwa Ashiraf

The signing of the Kassamallah agreement seemed to have ushered in some kind of calmess and understanding among Muslims. The return of the high powered delegation led by Sheikh Kassimu Mulumba from the month-long tour coincided with the enactment of the Expropriated Properties Act 1982 by the Uganda Parliament.

That Act nullified all the Decrees issued by the former president, Idi Amin Dada concerning the Properties left behind by Asians following their expulsion in 1972 and was returning the Properties back to them as rightful owners.

So, it should be noted that with coming of this Act into force, was to have direct financial implications to Uganda Muslim Supreme Council- UMSC as was one of the beneficiaries of the departed Asian properties. The properties were the biggest source of revenue for the council.

UMSC rolled out several activities including appointing late Haj. Sulaiman Mutumba a wealthy business man, an elder brother to Haj Nsereko Mutumba former UMSC PRO, replaced late Haj. Ali Kirunda Kivejinja as the Board Member and director of Industral and Commercial Holding Ltd, a Company that supervised UMSC Subsidiary companies including Uganda Ranches. This happened after Kivejinja had fled into exile.

The sponsored Scholarships from various Universities abroad were also distributed to Students who left for studies to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq and majority of them were from Central region.

The remaining Muslim Youths were mobilized to form Uganda Muslim Youth Assembly-UMYA that would operate directly under UMSC Structures countrywide. The role of UMYA was to train and equip youths with leadership skills to serve the council. UMYA was established in August 1982. This was followed by nationwide elections.

The youth delegates later on August 26th, 1982 converged at Bilal Islamic Institute, then at Bat Valley on William Street where they elected their national leaders. Those elected included Kassimu Namunyere Mageni, Chairman, Izid Abdu, Vice Chairman, Haruna Kareng Chemisto Secretary-General, Hassan Wasswa Galiwango, Assistant Secretary-General, Khamis Okello Treasurer, Badru Sebyala Assistant Treasurer, late Haj Ahmed Sekulima Mobilisation Secretary, and Norman Lukumu Assistant Mobilisation Secretary.

Interestingly, the majority of topmost UMSC leaders were from the Central region and closely related in one way or other. They hailed from either Mpigi (West Buganda) or Masaka Muslim Districts. Despite this, they failed to look at the bigger picture of Muslim Unity. other than concentrate on petty personal issues.

This came after majority of ordinary Muslims ignored the protocols put in place by the Kassamallah agreement as they bypassed Sheikh Abdu Obeid Kamulegeya then Deputy Chief Kadhi and in charge of Muslim Ceremonies and dealt directly with the office of the Chief Kadhi, Sheikh Kassimu Mulumba.

They often invited Sheikh Mulumba to preside over their functions and showed him lots of love by escorting him with a convoy of vehicles wherever he attended Friday prayers in various Mosques This started denting the fragile Muslim unity.

To continue…

The author is the Spokesperson of Uganda Muslim Supreme Council.

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