Brigadier Deus Sande, the Commandant of Uganda People’s Defense Forces-UPDF Armoured Brigade at Kasijjagirwa has been cited in renewed leadership wrangles within the Masaka Muslim Community.
The leadership that pays allegiance to the Kibuli-based Muslim faction are embroiled in wrangles over management of the main mosque, several income-generating properties and projects in the area.
On Tuesday evening, a group of Muslims that had shown up for prayers at the main mosque lost their tamper and assaulted some of their leaders whom they accused of sending threatening messages to the mosque Imam, Sheikh Abaasi Nseera. The assaulted leaders include Amir Yasini Kakomo, the custodian of Muslim properties in Masaka and Abdallah Nasur, a member of the mosque management committee.
During their harmonization meeting by Masaka Resident City Commissioner Fred Bamwine on Thursday, some of the local Muslim management committee members openly blamed the underlying woes on Brigadier Sande, who they accused of shielding the detractors who allegedly serve his interests to divide the Muslim community.
Hamza Ssebaggala, the chairperson of the Masaka Muslim Youth Assembly, accused Brig. Sande of creating a clique of 'untouchable' personalities among the Muslims, who are violating the mosque management systems for selfish interests. According to him, Brig Sande co-opted some of the leaders as security informers, but these have instead become too arrogant and are now plotting to take over the entire management of the mosque and Muslim properties.
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Sheikh Swaibu Ndugga, the Masaka district Kadhi says that the current woes stem from the suspicious conduct of Amir Kakomo, whom he accuses of mobilizing a section of Muslims to reject Sheikh Abaasi Nseera as the new Imam of the main mosque, replacing Sheikh Jamir Mbugga Kabangala who died late last year. Kakomo argued that Nseera did not go through the formal processes which rendered his appointment illegitimate.
However, Sheikh Ndugga insists that the new Imam was inaugurated under the guidance of the former Supreme Mufti Sheikh Siriman Kasule Ndirangwa, arguing that his detractors are self-seekers whose intention is to create confusion.
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Brigadier General Deus Sande who attended the harmonization meeting declined to comment about the allegation labelled against him. But Amir Yasini Kakomo dismisses the allegations of working for security agencies, saying his accusers are trading falsehoods intending to malign him.
He alleges that the underlying misunderstanding arises from a group of people who want to turn Muslim leadership into a family affair, something that does not go well with believers hence raising their concerns.
Meanwhile, Fred Bamwine the Masaka Resident City Commissioner has revealed that the district Security Committee has resolved to suspend for one month some of the trouble causers from going back to the mosque, to allow for investigations into the growing misunderstandings that have resulted in violence.
Those suspended from going back to Masaka main mosque include; Sheikh Abasi Nseera, the new Imam, his deputy Twaibuh Maalo Kaweesi, Amir Yasini Kakomo and Abdallah Nasuruh who were directly involved in the Tuesday clashes.