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Masaka Muslims want women in key management positions

Masaka, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | A section of the Muslim community in Masaka district is mooting for the inclusion of the female gender in the key management and leadership positions.

The faithful argue that it is high time they made deliberate arrangements to bring onboard women to also take part in the decision making processes in matters of their faith, by appointing them into positions of leadership in all management organs.

The demand was raised during the ongoing consultations on the proposed amendment of the constitution of the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council-UMSC.

While presenting their views to the constitutional review commission led by Sheikh Siraj Zaid Kavuma, during a meeting held on Sunday at the West Buganda region Muslim community headquarters in Soweto cell in Masaka city, the Muslim community called for gender inclusiveness type of leadership for the benefit of their faith.

Sheikh Badru Wasajja, the Masaka District Kadhi says the current UMSC constitution which was promulgated in 1986, sidelined the women despite their numbers and proven abilities to provide leadership at the various levels.

He demands that the new UMSC constitution creates specific positions for women at all management committees right from grassroots at the mosques up to the General Assembly of the supreme council.

Hassan Mayinja, the Imam for Kyesiiga sub county mosque in Masaka district, explains that besides having the capacity to contribute to debates, women are the best person to effectively represent their concerns during all decision-making processes in the faith.

He says that although the women may not be allowed to perform key clerical responsibilities like becoming Imams, County and District Council leaders, they can serve in the other positions of the committees at all levels.

Mayinja on the other hand proposed that in the new constitution, key Muslim clerical leaders that include the Imams, District and Regional Kadhi and the Mufti be protected from term limits, as a way of reducing tensions among the faithful as people jostle for power and eventually disintegrate the faith.

The current UMSC constitution sets an age limit for district Kadhi, the Mufti and his deputies at 70 years of age, but Mayinja wants the restrictions lifted to enable the leaders to serve without much pressure from people that have aspirations for the same offices.

Dirisa Muwonge wants the new constitution to set specific standards and identical attires for their clerical leaders to enable them effectively measure up to the prominence of their counterparts from other religions.

He indicates that having identical attires for Muslim clerics will help to promote decorum amongst them and eventually fetch them public respect wherever they are.

Sheikh Siraj Zaid Kavuma, who is coordinating the consultation process in the West Buganda Muslim region says that they want the faithful to exhaust their opinions, for purposes of generating an all-inclusive constitution.

He indicates that they are open to all kinds of opinions, saying their legal teams will study all the submissions and align them into a working policy document from which a new constitution will be developed.

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