By Zziwa Ashiraf
With the opening of their base at Plot No.30 William Street in Kampala, Sheikh Mulumba’s close confidants intensified efforts and successfully managed to instil hatred among Muslim masses and incited them to rebel against Sheikh Abdu Obeid Kamulegeya’s leadership and Uganda Muslim Supreme Council ( UMSC) in general.
Sheikh Kassimu Mulumba reached out to his longtime mentor and political godfather, the late Paul Muwanga, then the Vice President and Minister of Defence in the Obote II government, who assured him of protection.
Paul Muwanga is also reported to have advised Mulumba that whenever they were to hold religious functions they should announce him as the Chief Guest on grounds that Sheikh Kamulegeya being a sharp and aggressive politician might use his close links to President Obote to stop their activities across the Country.
Paul Muwanga’s prediction came to pass when Sheikh Kamulegeya met the late Luwuliza Kirunda, then the Minister of Internal Affairs in a desperate attempt to stop Mulumba’s group from disrupting UMSC activities.
The majority of Muslims especially in the Central, Busoga and to some extent in Eastern Uganda were firmly behind Sheikh Mulumba while those in Bunyoro- Toro up to Rwenzori region, West Nile, entire north including Karamonja remained royal to UMSC. South Western ( Ankole- Kigezi), then under the late Sheikh Abdunoor Kaduyu as District Kadhi strangely remained neutral although Sheikh Kaduyu was more inclined towards Sheikh Mulumba.
Sheikh Kamulegeya’s team made futile attempts to replace Muslim officers at lower UMSC Structures such as Districts, Counties, and Mosques in troubled areas.
The rebellious Muslim leaders remained in control of Council properties in their respective areas in disregard of any established management systems.
These included commercial premises, Mosques and schools. It is at this juncture that a clique of prominent Muslims in Masaka under Haj Abdu Kalibala and the close confidants of the late Sheikh Uzairu Kiruuta, then Masaka District Kadhi illegally took control of the Muslim Ranches in Masaka and Mawogola ( renamed Sembabule),
By early 1984, UMSC faced stiff resistance as it tried to enforce its administration in the troubled areas.
For instance Sheikh Kamulegeya appointed the late Sheikh Abdallah Kakooza ( father of Sheikh Mahad Kakooza) as Masaka District Kadhi to replace Sheikh Kiruuta in vain.
This was the first time that Ranches especially those in Masaka and Mawogola were hired out in disregard of the original plan to run them under the UMSC subsidiary, the Uganda Ranches Ltd.
The author is the Spokesperson of Uganda Muslim Supreme Council.