Muslim leaders in the Luwero district are divided over a meeting that has been called this week to sensitize them on radicalism, extremism, and promote social-economic transformation.
Organized by Hajji Musa Lukandwa in conjunction with the Greater Luwero Muslim Chairman Hajji Musa Kakande, the meeting is scheduled to take place at Luwero Islamic Primary School on Wednesday, August 24th, 2022. Internal Affairs Minister, General Kahinda Otafiire has been invited as chief guest.
However, Luwero District Kadhi Sheikh Ramadhan Mulindwa has issued a notice to all County Sheikhs and their followers not to attend the meeting, saying it is not beneficial to them. Mulindwa explains that in February this year, the same group organized a similar message at Kasana UMEA Playground but to date the government has not addressed any of the issues raised on that day.
Mulindwa says that such meetings are organized by some individuals to get money from a government and not to address the issues affecting Muslims. He also questions why the meeting has been organized without consulting the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council-UMSC or his office.
Sheikh Sayyid Nyanzi, the Zirobwe County Sheikh, says that he received an invitation to attend and mobilise Imams among other leaders to attend the said meeting. He, however, says that he decided to opt out after learning that the organizers didn’t use structures of UMSC.
Abdulmalik Kisitu, the Secretary for Kalagala County also questioned why the meeting intended to sensitize them to counter-terrorism targets only Muslims and not members of other religious denominations. Kisitu says that such meetings create wrong perceptions about Muslims, adding that he won’t attend it
“We have informed our followers that any person who attends the meeting will be held accountable as an individual for the resolutions or deliberations made,” Kisitu said.
But Hajji Musa Lukandwa insists that despite the notice by Kadhi, the meeting will go on as planned. Lukandwa says that the Kadhi is bitter because he is not among the organizers and that the meeting is being spearheaded by a rival faction in his area.
He adds that the Kadhi also fears that Muslims in Luwero may report him to Otafiire for allegedly establishing a market on their land without consulting them. Lukandwa explained that the meeting is called in a wake of insecurity in the area which includes attacks on Policemen, arrests of Imams and Muslims at Walusi hill among others.
“The organizers are free to invite Kadhi Mulindwa or not but he shouldn’t sabotage the meeting. This is a National program to sensitize all Muslims on security irrespective of the faction they belong to. Preparations are ongoing and right now am heading to the Resident District Commissioner to harmonize the program for the meeting,” Lukandwa said.
Last week, Luwero district authorities failed to resolve a dispute between the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council and Uganda Muslim Education Association-UMEA limited, a private association over the supervision of 35 Muslim-founded schools in the district. The dispute came to the fore after Luwero District Education Officer, Florence Bbosa received nominations from School Management Committees from UMSC and UMEA limited.