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Kagadi Muslims want term limits introduced for Mufti of Uganda

Mufti Ramadhan Mubaje. File Photo

Kagadi, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Muslims in Kagadi district want the Mufti of Uganda, the highest-ranking cleric in the Muslim leadership in the country to serve for two five year terms, saying this will help reduce power struggles.

This is one of the proposals that came up during the ongoing consultations on the proposed amendments to the constitution of Uganda Muslim Supreme Council-UMSC, the supreme body of Muslims in Uganda.

The Dr. Edirisa Kasenene Serugo led UMSC constitutional review commission is currently collecting views from Muslims in Bunyoro sub region. While meeting the commissioners on Wednesday, Muslims in Kagadi proposed the introduction of term limits for the office of the Mufti of Uganda.

They argued that as UMSC moves towards streamlining the leadership positions, it is time that the Mufti only holds office for a two five-year term, a move they say will help stop the power struggles in the Muslim community. The Muslims who gathered at Kagadi community hall also noted that the minimum age for one to qualify for election to the office of the Mufti should be 40 years and a maximum of 60 years.

The current UMSC Constitution sets the age limit for the Mufti and Deputy Mufti at 70 years of age. The Constitution was drafted by Nsambu and Lubega Advocates in 1986 during the reign of Sheikh Rajab Kakooza as Chief Khadi. The Muslims also want UMSC to grant mosques and other management committees at all levels full rights to own land and other properties.

Musa Murungi, a Muslim in Kagadi called for the appointment of special interest group representatives like women, youth, people with disabilities (PWDs) to all Muslim committees and consider educated people to fill the positions of leadership. The Muslims are opportunistic that if their proposals are considered in the new constitution, they will usher development in the Muslim community.

Sheikh Mohammed Isingoma, the Kadhi Kibaale Muslim district, says that once the constitution is amended, it will foster unity, peace and development among Muslims. He has also advocated for the consideration of women in the Muslim leadership at all levels noting that they are educated and resourceful for the development of the Muslim community.

Sheik Kassim Kamugisha, the team leader and spokesperson of the UMSC constitutional review commission is optimistic that the review will help resolve leadership and property disputes. Between 2012-2014, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni appointed a commission of inquiry into the affairs of the Muslims led by Prof. Tarsis Kabwegyere.

The commission noted numerous loopholes in the UMSC constitution as a big source of the perennial conflicts in the Muslim community. It recommended the review of the UMSC constitution following nationwide consultations for the purpose of fostering unity, peace and development.

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