"Leadership Turmoil: Deputy Mufti Assumes Control as Mufti Mubaje Faces Six-Month Suspension"

 

The Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) is currently facing significant turmoil with the suspension of Mufti of Uganda Shiekh Shaban Ramadhan Mubaje. This move follows a court order granting authority to Yudaya Babirye, Burhan Namanya, and Hussein, allowing them to organize a special session of the UMSC general assembly. During this session, Mufti Mubaje and UMSC chairperson Dr. Mohammed Lubega were suspended.


A court order issued by Justice Faridah Shamilah Bukirwa Ntambi of Jinja High Court on December 12 permitted the meeting to discuss the overall state of the UMSC, emphasizing the obligation to submit a report on the proceedings to the court. The order allowed any person designated by the petitioners to convene the meeting, with a neutral person presiding over the proceedings.


The special session launched an inquiry into the alleged sale and auctioning of Muslim mosques, including the National Mosque. Mufti Mubajje was suspended for six months to facilitate the inquiry, and a committee was established to carry out the investigation.


Isa Gule was appointed as the new chairperson for the UMSC during the special sitting, leading to the suspension of Dr. Lubega. However, some members observed irregularities in Lubega's election. Hajji Abbas Sekyanzi Muluubya, UMSC general secretary, criticized the proceedings, arguing that they deviated from the proper procedures outlined in the UMSC constitution.


According to the UMSC constitution, the removal of the Mufti can only occur through a joint session formed by the executive committee and the Majlis Al-Ulama. Six reasons for the Mufti's removal are outlined, including mental unfitness, bankruptcy, improper conduct, criminal conviction, violation of Islamic norms and national laws, and tarnishing public image.


Article 11 of the constitution outlines the impeachment process, requiring a written petition bearing the signatures of at least one-third of the members for initiation. Muluubya maintains that the UMSC is operating normally and officially recognizes Mufti Mubaje.


The UMSC advisory council, composed of retired Muslim leaders and eminent Sheikhs, rejected the order issued to the UMSC leadership. Chaired by Obed Kamulegeya, the former chief Khadi of Uganda, the council emphasized the need to exhaust internal mechanisms before resorting to civil courts.


Hajji Muluubya highlights that the order was erroneously issued, overlooking Article 17 of the UMSC, which outlines the provision for holding extraordinary sessions. The council is challenging the order and its associated activities, asserting that the judgment did not follow the law and will be contested. Article 17 specifies that the secretary general is responsible for convening an extraordinary general meeting upon receiving a memorandum signed by one-third of the members, with a seven-day notice provided through electronic and print media.

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