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UMSC Insists Suspended Masaka Kadhi Should Vacate Office

The acting UMSC Spokesperson, Ashiraf Zziwa Muvawala communicated the decision while unveiling Sheikh Badru Wasajja Kiruta as the caretaker Kadhi of Masaka Muslim District at a media briefing in Masaka City on Wednesday.

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Uganda Muslim Supreme Council-UMSC has insisted that the embattled Masaka District Kadhi Sheik Buruhane Bagunduse vacates office to pave way for investigations into the allegations levelled against him.

The acting UMSC Spokesperson, Ashiraf Zziwa Muvawala communicated the decision while unveiling Sheikh Badru Wasajja Kiruta as the caretaker Kadhi of Masaka Muslim District at a media briefing in Masaka City on Wednesday.

He explained that the decision that was taken by the Mufti of Uganda, Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubaje to suspend Sheikh Bagunduse from office can’t be reversed until the investigations into the alleged inefficiency of Sheikh Banguduse are completed.

The Mufti suspended Sheikh Banguduse following his successful impeachment by the district council for alleged incompetence in a February 19th letter authored by Sheikh Muhammad Murshid Luwemba, the Religious Affairs Secretary at Uganda Muslim Supreme Council. 

However, a section of Muslims in Masaka protested Bagunduse’s suspension, saying it was done outside the laid down procedures. As a result, the West Buganda Regional Muslim administration sent a delegation led by the Regional Kadhi Sheikh Juma Mawejje to meet the Mufti of the matter. However, the meeting that took place on Monday didn’t yield much. 

On Wednesday, UMSC dispatched its spokesperson Ashiraf Zziwa Muvawala to communicate the council’s position and ensure a smooth handover to the caretaker Kadhi. Muvawala asked the Muslim community in Masaka to stay calm, saying the right procedure was followed to suspect the Kadhi. 

“There is no doubt that the right procedure was followed before the suspension of Sheikh Bagunduse because the mufti acted on the concern raised by the Masaka Muslim joint committee that asked mufti to look into the matter though he took some time to take action since the country has been on high alert of the pandemic coronavirus,” he said.  

He asked Muslims to work with the caretaker pending the conclusion of investigations into the accusations against Sheikh Bagunduse.

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Muvawala said UMSC is optimistic that the caretaker Kadhi will spearhead the program to repossess council property including schools, mosques, land, and buildings in Masaka region, which are currently occupied by unknown people. 

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Sheikh Juma Mawejje, the West Buganda Regional Kadhi, says that the Masaka Muslim joint council that initially complained of Sheikh Bagunduse’s inefficiency to the Mufti’s office and called for his suspension made a U-turn.  He explained that in their meeting with the Mufti, he showed him a letter from the Masaka district joint Muslim committee recalling their decision to cause Sheikh Banguduse’s suspension.

“We met the mufti and showed him that the move to impeach Bagunduse in 2019 as the joint council had decided had since been altered. So he asked us to wait for him to give us instructions on what to do.  So am still waiting for his instructions and am not aware of the developments made by the council pro-Muvawala,” he said. Sheikh Bagunduse’s suspension has generated mixed reactions.  

Ali Mukasa, one of the Muslim faithfuls in Masaka says the Kadhi’s suspension isn’t a big deal, saying Muslims should allow the council to investigate him. He says the Kadhi stands a chance to return to the office once he is cleared by the probe team. But Hajjat Bitamisi Namuddu, one of the Muslim elders in Masaka is opposed to the decision, saying the council suspended Sheikh Bagunduse based on rumours.