Masaka, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The embattled Kadhi of Masaka Muslim district, Sheikh Buruhane Bagunduse has declined to handover office to pave way for investigations into the allegations of incompetence leveled against him, saying his suspension didn’t follow the laid down procedures.
It comes a few hours after Sheikh Muhammad Murshid Luwemba, the Religious Affairs Secretary at Uganda Muslim Supreme Council-UMSC wrote suspending Bagunduse from office on the instructions of the Mufti of Uganda Sheikh Ramadhan Mubaje pending investigations.
“In the interim, you’re instructed to hand over the office and all UMSC belongings including the vehicle registration number UAY 815A to Sheikh Badru Uzair Wasajja who will care take the office on Friday 26th February 2021” the letter partly reads.
The February 19th, 2021 letter says the decision to suspend Bagunduse is premised on complaints of inefficiency made to the office of the Mufti by Masaka Muslim District Council committee that sat on May 7th 2019.
However, Bagunduse has vowed not to vacate office saying his suspension is illegal. He says that such decisions can only be made by the district executive committee through the Regional Committee leadership which he says was not done and therefore makes the entire process questionable.
Bagunduse also questions the procedure taken to appoint Wasajja as caretaker Kadhi saying it is null and void since it’s the district council that has to select names of three suitable candidates and forward them to the UMSC headquarters for scrutiny.
Some Muslims in Masaka have protested Bagunduse’s suspension saying it is uncalled for. Hajjat Bitamisi Namuddu, one of the influential Muslims who is currently providing office space to the District and Regional Kadhis says the decision was rushed and untimely.
She blames UMSC headquarters for acting on rumours, saying that such resolutions have to be made after making enough investigations and consultations.
“I am not happy with the decision made by UMSC to suspend our Kadhi. UMSC did not consult any of the stakeholders in Masaka but it just came up with its decision. This was not right….There was a need to consult me at least because for long I have been supporting UMSC even when all Muslims in Masaka had lost confidence in the leadership of Uganda Muslim Supreme Council,” she said.
Ismael Mwanje, another Muslim says that UMSC would have given Bagunduse a chance to defend himself against the allegations before coming up with such a decision.
Sheikh Badru Uzair Kiruta, the caretaker Kadhi confirmed receiving his appointment letter saying that he is ready to serve the Muslim community.
Bagunduse assumed the Masaka District Muslim leadership seven years ago after the death of Huzair Kiruta, the former Kadhi of Masaka Muslim district.