Police cut off mosque from locals
Posted Thursday, January 17 2013 at 02:50
No way. A Muslim faction had reportedly attempted to irregularly swear in a District Kadhi, Buruhan Bagunduuse.
Police in Masaka District on Tuesday cordoned off the Main Mosque to avert a reported possible clash among the faithful.
The development followed a decision by a faction of Muslims to force their way into the mosque to swear in a recently elected parallel District Kadhi, Bulhan Bagunduuse.
In 2010, another faction had elected Sheikh Swaibu Ndugga as the district kadhi and installed him as the in charge of the mosque.
Some Masaka Muslim Supreme Council (MMSC) leaders led by Sheikh Ismail Musisi forced the then District Kadhi, Sheikh Huzailu Kiruta, to retire over old age.
They claimed he had attained the age of 77 years and therefore, was not fit for office, but Sheikh Kiruta claimed to be below 65 years.
The Muslim constitution requires a district Kadhi to retire upon attaining the age of 65.
The MMSC also accused Sheikh Kiruta of failing to implement its resolutions as well as refusing to give accountability for income from Muslim endowments.
He was forcefully thrown out of his office and Swaibu Ndugga has since then been occupying it.
Sheikh Kiruta, however, continued to be regarded as the District Kadhi by some Muslims although he conducted his prayers elsewhere - in the Mayor’s Gardens in Masaka Town.
He also sued the Ndugga-led faction, accusing it of breaking into his office and taking away files and other valuables and illegally taking over the office.
The case has never been settled.
However, recently Sheikh Kiruta bowed to pressure and retired and his followers elected Sheikh Buruhan Bagunduuse to replace him.
It is this group that wanted to install Bagunduuse to the Main Mosque last Friday as District Kadhi, yet Sheikh Ndugga was already recognised as the Masaka District Kadhi by the faction that drove out Sheikh Kiruta.
The Masaka Resident District Commissioner, Mr Chris Awor Odoi, got wind of the planned invasion of the mosque by the Bagunduuse/Kiruta faction and fearing possible bloodshed, ordered for police deployment.