After prominent clerics set out the process of uniting muslims in the country, the leadership wranglings that have split the Islamic faith apart for years may come to an end.
There have been ongoing squabbles among Muslims, led by the leaders themselves, over a variety of concerns, most notably the mismanagement of Muslim property.
This has fueled divisions, resulting in the formation of numerous groups commanded by Sheikh Yunus Kamoga, including Old Kampala, Kibuli, Nakasero, and William Street.
Peace may be on the way as Uganda’s Mufti, Sheikh Shaban Mubaje, and Sheikh Abdul Obeid Kamulegeya struck a contract to halt the squabbles.
Before he parted out with Prince Kassim Nakibinge, Sheikh Kamulegeya was a significant figure in the Kibuli group.
Kamulegeya, more than any other Ugandan Muslim preacher, has had a long-term influence on matters of faith and beyond. According to insiders, the Mubaje Kamulegeya agreement was reached after a series of closed-door discussions.
Sheikh Hussein Rajab Kakooza, the former Chief Kadhi and Director of Sharia; Sheikh Yusuf Isah Byekwaso, the former UMSC Secretary General 1986-1991; Sheikh Muhammad Kamoga, the Principal Bilal Islamic Institute; and Sheikh Musa Ssebumba, the former Kadhi Mityana in the 1980s were among Kamulegeya’s team, according to sources.
Sheikh Abdallah Ibrahim Ssemambo Tamusuza, Uganda’s deputy Mufti; Sheikh Muhammad Ali Waiswa, Uganda’s second deputy Mufti; Haj Muhmood Kateregga, Sheikh Ibrahim Nkangi, retired Kadhi West Buganda; and members of the UMSC management, among others, made up Mubaje’s team.
Mubaje stated that he had never imagined a day when Ugandan Muslims would come together to find solutions to the difficulties they face without the need for outside involvement or influence.
“September 3, 2021 will go down in Muslim history as a watershed point. “I am overjoyed today for the unification drive that my elder Sheikh Kamulegeya and I started five years ago before we told our confidants,” Mubaje added.
Mubaje said he tried various routes to create cooperation with other religion organizations, including UMSC’s membership in the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda, the African Religious Council, and the World Council of Religions for Peace International.
Kamulegeya expressed his gratitude for the agreement, saying that Muslims had finally restored peace, harmony, and brotherhood.
Kamulegeya took his audience on a memorable 85-year journey through his life, during which he witnessed intense wrangling and infighting among Muslims.
“We all believe that our division has harmed our reputation and deprived us of all options, including lobbying for national cake and government positions. So, for the sake of unity, I’ve decided to return,” Kamulegeya stated.
In the future, the two leaders have agreed on a number of principles that will govern their partnership.
That on September 3, 2021, all Muslims in Uganda agreed to join under the direction of UMSC, and that UMSC is an umbrella organization that oversees the affairs of all Muslims in Uganda, provided that other organizations work under its guidance and consultation.
The Muslim leaders and elders whose names are attached hereto are to be constituted into a body known as Majlis Al Shura, which will be provided for in the amended UMSC Constitution as a tribunal, and the executive and joint session resolutions should seek to create deputies offices at all levels of the UMSC structure so that all Muslim leaders can share the positions.
The leaders also resolved to establish and include in the UMSC Constitution a property trust to handle all Muslim properties in Uganda.
Additional members of the constitutional review committee will be appointed, according to the agreement, and an official statement will be issued to that effect.
All Muslims of good intent are encouraged to submit their recommendations to the UMSC Secretary-office General’s for consideration by the constitutional revision committee.