20 UMSC members locked out of general assembly

Security officers check some of the Muslim faithful ahead of the UMSC general assembly at Gaddafi National Mosque in Old Kampala yesterday. PHOTO/ABUBAKER LUBOWA

What you need to know:

According to sources, the members were blocked because of their request to amend the agenda to include a discussion on the looming sale of their properties.

By press time last evening, a special general assembly was still ongoing at the Gaddafi National Mosque in Old Kampala amid tension and heavy security deployment.

The agenda for the meeting was not known but the sources privy to it said the looming sale of eight prime properties, including the plot where the main mosque sits in Old Kampala took stage.

At least 23 members of the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) were blocked from attending the special meeting.

The blocking, according to sources, was because of their request to amend the agenda to include a candid discussion of the looming sale of their properties by businessman Justus Kyabahwa to recover his outstanding debt of Shs19b.

Since morning, the main entrance of the mosque was guarded by different security agencies searching for whoever entered the premises.

Muslims who came to perform lunchtime prayers from the mosque were not allowed to access it.

Ms Zulaika Kamarah, the Kampala region representative, one of the members who was blocked, said they were thrown out on account that their names were not on the list of the delegates.

“They have told us that our names are not on the list yet we are entitled to represent our Muslim community and we have been attending these meetings before,” she said.

Ms Kamarah added: “As general assembly members, we have a right to ask for a change if there is an urgent issue to be addressed. We did not agree with the agenda which had been presented in the meeting, that’s why we proposed other issues of great importance like the looming sale of our property.”

The other members blocked were Ms Sulaina Kigongo, Mr  Musa Muyinda, Mr  Muhammad Mabanja, Mr Abdul Kiyimba, Mr Hassan Bassajabala, Mr Jumah Kiddu, Mr Muhammad Mpoza, Hamza Mirembe, and Mr Rashid Kasangaki.


A copy of the agenda seen by Daily Monitor had items like the introduction of new members, communication from the UMSC chairperson, communication for Mufti of Uganda, situation report by the secretary general, reports of the working committees, budget, way forward, and closure.

Sources last evening told this publication that some sections of the faithful proposed that they should lodge an appeal before the Supreme Court against the recent Court of Appeal ruling that had further okayed the sale of their prime properties.   The current tension arose about a fortnight ago when the Commercial Court issued an attachment order, okaying the sale of eight prime Muslim properties by a businessman to recover his money.

The situation was further dampened after the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal in which the UMSC had sought relief to have the property attachment order halted until the main appeal is determined.

The ruling of the Court of Appeal further paved the way to have the said eight prime properties sold.

“In the circumstances of this case, the applicant (UMSC) has failed to prove that it has a likelihood of success in the pending appeal or that it will suffer any damage or harm that cannot be atoned for by an award of damages. The balance of convenience would be in not granting this application for stay of execution but to allow the party (the businessman) with the judgment in hand to proceed with the execution process,” ruled Justice Christopher Gashirabake on Wednesday.

Attached properties

According to court attachment order, the properties to be attached are land comprised in lease hold register Volume KKCA 149 Folio 16, land at Kampala City William Street 30, land comprised in lease hold register volume 2771 Folio 2, Old Kampala Plot 23-25 where the Gaddafi mosque sits, Kyadondo Block 195 Plot 5463 land at Kyanja, one Square Mile of land at Bukwe, Hoima. Others are one acre piece of land located at Lumbas, Jinja, Plot of land at Mbale, Shares in Uganda Ranchers Ltd and Commercial Holdings Ltd; subsidiaries to Uganda Moslem Supreme Council that owns two square miles of land at Migyera-Buluri and a plot in Entebbe opposite Victoria Mall.