Masaka, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The leaders of Masaka Main Mosque are expected to appear before the District Police Commander, Didas Byaruhanga later today over renewed clashes at the mosque. This follows bitter clashes at the mosque between rival clashes over the leadership of Masaka central mosque, which is found in Masaka City.
The latest dispute arises from the appointment of Sheikh Abasa Nseera as the Imam of the main mosque to replace Sheikh Jamir Mbuga Kabangala who died last year. According to sources, the dispute climaxed last week after unknown people sent threatening messages to Sheikh Nseera giving him a week’s ultimatum to relinquish his new position or face their wrath, which includes death.
The wrangle pits a group of Muslims allied to the Kibuli-based faction and those aligned to the mainstream Old Kampala based Uganda Muslim Supreme Council-UMSC leadership under Sheikh Shaban Mubaje, the Mufti of Uganda.
On Tuesday evening, the mosque degenerated in chaos after a group of Muslims descended on Sheikh Yasin Kakomo, one of those opposed to the Old Kampala leadership and beat him up accusing him of fueling wrangles to achieve his selfish interests.
The angry Muslims comprising women also attacked Sheikh Ahmed Kayemba, the Secretary of Masaka Muslim District Council, Hajj Musa Bisegerwa, Twaibu Kaweesi and Abdallah Nasuiruh accusing them of being behind the threats against their newly appointed Imam and fueling confusion because of their self-interests. The targeted leaders ran for their lives and barricaded themselves in one of the offices and called for police rescue.
Sheikh Abas Nseera told Uganda Radio Network that a clique of selfish leaders are opposed to his appointment and have been sending him life-threatening messages, which prompted him to open up to Muslims on the threats. He also accuses his detractors of conniving to sell off some Muslim properties in their custody and failure to account for the proceeds.
Sheikh Yasiin Kakomo, one of those accused of fueling the controversy has described the accusations as blackmail by people he says don’t wish them well. He, however, says that the confusion will not deter him from performing his roles as a leader nor chase him away from the mosque.
Didas Byaruhanga, the Masaka District Police Commander, says that he has summoned the warring parties for dialogue before the dispute escalates to unmanageable levels. Physical fights are not new at Masaka main mosque. They often occur whenever controversies emerge over property management, leadership and sharing of money among other causes.