Police Deploy As Kayongo Opens Luweero Mosque

A new mosque in Luweero is to be commissioned under tight security today, after rival Muslim factions failed to agree on the chief guest.

The mosque at Bukalasa, Wobulenzi town council, has pitted Muslims loyal to the Old Kampala-based Mufti Ramadhan Mubajje against supporters of Kibuli-based Supreme Mufti Zubair Kayongo. Each side wanted its man to preside at the commissioning, with the police making futile attempts to mediate.

Bukalasa Twale mosque was built by Kibisi Islamic Centre (KIC), an organisation that tries to remain neutral in the Kibuli-Old Kampala wrangles. According to Hajji Umar Mukasa, the Bukalasa county sheikh, the mosque cost Shs 20m to build. After completion of the works last month, KIC informed the Muslim leadership in the district that it was ready to hand over the mosque to them.

It is said that on learning of this, Kayongo’s supporters hurriedly wrote inviting him to officiate at the commissioning today. However, on learning of the move, Haji Umar Mukasa, the Bukalasa Twale county sheikh, who is under Old Kampala leadership, wrote to the Kayongo faction blocking the event, and asking the police to enforce his order.

“It’s Mufti Mubajje and those he can delegate to commission mosques here, but no one else, because he is the one constitutionally recognized,” the letter said.

On Monday, the faction leaders in Luweero met at Wobulenzi police station but failed to agree. This saw the intervention by Savannah Regional Police Commander Musa Nabende, who called another meeting on Wednesday. That effort also failed.

Sheikh Mukasa stormed out in protest, after the police reportedly allowed Kayongo’s side to officiate, instead of postponing the function to allow Mubajje to officiate. Sources said Nabende warned the Mubajje faction against causing violence, saying the police would not hesitate to restore order.

Ben Kiwanuka, the Luweero crime intelligence officer, told The Observer yesterday morning that they had started deploying heavily ahead of today’s function.

“By last evening [Wednesday], we had learnt through our intelligence that the dissatisfied Mubajje supporters were secretly planning protests at the venue to disrupt the function,” Kiwanuka said.

“I want to assure the Muslims that ‘we are going to protect you don’t be threatened with our deployment as you attend Juma prayers and commissioning of your mosque’.”

Source : The Observer

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