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Muslim factions in Lango battle over property ownership

Sheikh Shaban Mubaje, the Mufti of Uganda and his followers touring properties at Lira PS recently. URN photo

Lira, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Muslim factions in Lango are embroiled in a fight over the ownership of Muslim properties. The dispute pits the Lango Muslim leadership under the Kadhi, Sheikh Ishaq Salim Nangoye and the leadership of Madina Faiza Mosque commonly known as Lira PS under Sheikh Muhammad Yusuf Balinda, who recently defected to the Kibuli faction.

The two groups are fighting over the ownership of Lira Primary School land, Ojwina Seed Secondary school, Madina Faiza Mosque, health center III, and a youth resource center, all situated on the primary school land. In September, Sheikh Nangoye wrote to the head teacher of Lira Primary School demanding all the documents of the school ownership.

The head teacher, Benson Ario wrote back saying that he can’t release such important documents without the approval and knowledge of the School Management Committee, foundation body, and other stakeholders. However, the Lango Muslim District Secretary, Fadhil Oguta P’Ochira, insists that the donor who constructed the mosque and other facilities at Lira PS came through UMSC, which makes it their property.

Sheikh Nangoye has written to Lira City Clerk to fast-track the process of formalizing the Ojwina Seed School with his office to ensure its smooth operation. However, Sheikh Balinda, who was recently appointed the Supreme Kadhi of the Lango Muslim Community under the Kibuli faction, says that they are the sole owners of all properties at Lira Primary school and will defend it at all costs. He advised whoever is claiming ownership of those properties to go to court.

Sheikh Balinda argues that the other faction is now interested in the properties especially the seed school after learning that government has allocated funds for its development.

Lawrence Egole, the Lira Resident City Commissioner explained that the row between the two Muslim groups should not affect the operation of the two schools because they are run by the government and not the foundation body.

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