By Zziwa Ashiraf
Sheikh Kassimu Mulumba and his close confidants faced a huge task as the then top UMSC officials led by the late Sheikh Maulana Abdu-Razak Matovu, the Mufti, the Late Haj. Prince Badru Kakungulu, the Council Chair and Secretary-General, Haj. Isah Khalifa Lukwago worked around the clock to set in motion the constitutional process of replacing him.
To demonstrate that he had resumed his official duties as the Chief Kadhi, Sheikh Mulumba made massive radio announcements calling upon Muslims to turn up in big numbers for Friday prayers at the UMSC headquarters on Aug 29th 1983. His plan was to use the Juma to meet District Kadhis and later address Muslims on the State of Affairs at the Council.
Sheikh Mulumba’s team wanted to pre-empt the ongoing process to fill the vacant position of Chief Kadhi, which was scheduled to take place on Aug 31st 1983.
To maintain peace at the UMSC headquarters, Haj Isah Khalifa Lukwago, the then Secretary-General reached out to police, which eventually stopped the gathering.
On Aug 31st 1983, members of the UMSC National Executive Committee and College of Sheikhs (Majlis Al Ulama) constituted the Joint Session, one of the topmost Council Organs to deliberate on the position of the Chief Kadhi.
Addressing the meeting, the late Prince Haj. Badru Kakungulu informed the members that he was in receipt of two important letters authored by Sheikh Mulumba.
He explained that one of the letters announced his resignation while the other rescinded the decision. In their deliberations, the members noted that although Sheikh Mulumba was free to resign, they argued that the way it happened left much to be desired.
They also claimed Sheikh Mulumba’s resignation was prejudicial to the stability and basic interests of the Ugandan Muslims, saying that it had exposed the Community to machinations of its enemies.
After the deliberations, the members resolved to accept Sheikh Mulumba’s resignation from the Office of Chief Kadhi and rejected his decision rescinding the resignation.
At this juncture, Prince Kakungulu called for names of the candidates for the position of Chief Kadhi. Three names including that of Sheikh Abdu Obeid Kamulegeya, Sheikh Anasi Kinyiri and Sheikh Ahmad Mukasa were proposed.
However, Sheikh Anasi Kinyiri and Sheikh Ahmad Mukasa turned down the nomination leaving Sheikh Abdu Obeid Kakungulu to sail through as the Chief Kadhi of Uganda. He was dully appointed. Shortly after, the chair called for nominees for the position of Deputy Chief Kadhi of Uganda. So four names were proposed including Sheikh Anasi Kinyiri, Sheikh Ahmad Mukasa, Sheikh Ibrahim Bitamazire and Sheikh Abdunoor Kaduyu.
However, Sheikh Ahmad Mukasa withdrew his candidature while Sheikh Kaduyu didn’t get any seconder leaving two candidates in the race.
Sheikh Anasi Kinyiri got a landslide victory and went on to become the Deputy Chief Kadhi of Uganda. However, the majority of Muslims didn’t appreciate the development and declared war against the new UMSC leadership.
The author is the Spokesperson of Uganda Muslim Supreme Council.