By Zziwa Ashiraf
Sheikh Kassim Mulumba’s triumphant return from the Middle East tour prompted the UMSC leadership to design ways to solve the problems affecting the council once and for all.
It is alleged that Sheikh Kamulegeya, acting on the advice by the Late Hon. Luwuliza Kirunda, then Internal Affairs Minister, issued a circular directing that no Muslim function, ceremony or even travel for Pilgrimage to Makah would take place without his express approval or UMSC structures in general.
He communicated the decision to all security agencies. It is at this time that the UMSC National Executive Committee convened to deliberate how to deal with the impostors (read Mulumba’ group) as was resolved in the UMSC General Assembly that sat in September 1983.
The meeting convened by the late Prince Badru Kakungulu and Hon. UMSC Secretary-General, Haj. Isah Khalifa Lukwago heard how UMSC had successfully evicted Sheikh Zubair Kayongo, a close confidant of Sheikh Mulumba from Plot no. 30 William Street for failure to pay accumulated rent arrears for two years for his shop amounting to Uganda Shillings 20,000.
The Executive unanimously resolved to evict Sheikh Mulumba’s group from the UMSC Commercial premises on plot. 30 William Street.
The late Sheikh Abdunoor Kalisa, then UMSC Secretary for Religious Affairs was tasked to coordinate with relevant Government authorities and the UMSC Kampala District leadership then under the late Sheikh Kaab Kinene to enforce the resolution.
They hoped that the eviction of Sheikh Mulumba’s faction from William Street and their lower administrative units in different arrears would automatically lead to their collapse and pave way for the mainstream leadership to regain its rightful position and reclaim properties.
The council officials led by Sheikh Kalisa backed by the then Special Forces under the direct authorization of Nsaba Butulo, then Kampala District Commissioner stormed Mulumba’s group as they were about to hold Friday ( Juma) prayers. A stampede broke out, in which many worshippers escaped with injuries.
The nasty raid ended when UMSC had regained full control of its property.
The officers managed to arrest nine ring leaders of the group including one lady Hajjat Masitula Namirimu, an aunt to the author and locked them up at Central Police Station.
They later appeared before the Kampala’s magistrate’s court on charges of being idle and disorderly, which remanded them to Luzira Murchison Bay Prison.
During the hearing of the charges, the court relied on the sworn affidavit of Sheikh Abdu Obeid Kamulegeya, the then Chief Kadhi of Uganda and found the suspects guilty for holding Muslim prayers in space that was not gazetted as a Mosque.
The accused failed to adduce any evidence that would prove that Plot 30 William was indeed a mosque.
As a result, the court found them guilty and jailed them for a year. At the end of 1984, Sheikh Kamulegeya scaled up his efforts to flash out rebellious and anti-UMSC elements that had taken control of Council properties in Masaka then led by Haj Abdu Kalibala and Haj. Yasin Lubowa.
It is amazing to note that to date, the two are still alive and fighting UMSC . Sheikh Kamulegeya sent a team led by the late Haj. Ramadhan Zakaria Wasike, then UMSC Secretary for Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Property to liaise with, the then-District Commissioner Masaka on a similar mission to regain council property.
The author is the Spokesperson of Uganda Muslim Supreme Council.