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Heavy Security Deployment at Old Kampala Mosque Ahead of UMSC General Assembly :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Heavy Security Deployment at Old Kampala Mosque Ahead of UMSC General Assembly

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The heightened security comes at a time when UMSC is entangled in a land dispute that poses a significant threat to prime properties belonging to the Muslim faith, including the national mosques.
30 Nov 2023 11:04
Police checking cars entering Old Kampala Mosque
There is heavy security deployment at Old Kampala Mosque ahead of the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council- UMSC General Assembly.

On Thursday, security personnel comprising of the police and army were seen deployed out and inside the premises of the mosque. They were also thoroughly screening people entering the UMSC headquarters.

The heightened security comes at a time when UMSC is entangled in a land dispute that poses a significant threat to prime properties belonging to the Muslim faith, including the national mosques.

Ashraf Zziwa, the UMSC Spokesperson, disclosed that the agenda for the day includes the approval of a new Secretary-General, the swearing-in of new members, and the approval of the budget.

Zziwa emphasized that the issue of Muslim properties will be addressed later in the session when delegates delve into the state of affairs at UMSC, proposing solutions and a path forward. He stated, "This is where the intricacies of the case will be discussed."

On Wednesday, the Court of Appeal in Kampala ruled in favor of businessman Justus Kyabahwa, granting him permission to proceed with the sale of properties owned by the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council to recover a debt of 18.9 billion Shillings.

Justice Christopher Gashirabake, dismissed UMSC's application for a stay of execution of the warrant, allowing Kyabahwa to attach nine properties and recoup the outstanding amount accumulated since 2020.

In 2020, UMSC entered into a deal, selling its Sembabule Ranch land measuring 517 hectares to Justus Kyabahwa through Arthur Kayanja. The sale, documented in an agreement seen by Uganda Radio Network, amounted to 3.584 billion shillings.

According to the terms, UMSC, represented by Secretary General Ramathan Mugalu, Mufti Shaban Ramathan Mubajje, and Chairman Abdulkadir Idi Balonde, committed to transferring possession of the land within 60 days of signing the agreement. The council also undertook to settle any outstanding rates, levies, or charges related to the land before the agreement's execution.

The agreement included provisions for a refund with 12% monthly interest if Kyabahwa failed to obtain possession within 150 days for reasons beyond his control. Additionally, UMSC was supposed to remove a caveat on the land title filed by Enterprise Handling Services Limited (ENHAS) within 60 days before the transaction. All necessary authorizations from UMSC's relevant organs were claimed to have been secured before the deal.

Kyabahwa, upon discovering that the land was already sold to ENHAS, filed a petition in the commercial court to recover the accumulated 18.9 billion shillings over a four-year period. The court, on August 7th, 2023, granted Kyabahwa's petition, rejecting UMSC's defense after reviewing the evidence, including the agreement.

Subsequently, on November 16th, the Registrar issued a warrant of execution, empowering Kyabahwa to sell nine properties, including Gadafi Mosque in Old Kampala, to recoup his funds.

UMSC, dissatisfied with the outcome, lodged an appeal in the Court of Appeal and concurrently sought a stay of execution. Muhammad Ali Aluma, the Deputy Secretary General in Charge of Finance and Administration, argued that despite their attempt to defend the suit in the High Court, their application was dismissed on August 7th, 2023, leading to judgment in favor of Kyabahwa.

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