Six arrested as police raid mosque in Kampala

KAMPALA. Police have arrested six people who raided and took over a Tabliq led Mosque at Plot 30 William Street in Kampala.
According to eye witnesses, a group of able bodied men raided the Masjid Noor, which was constructed in 1947 with the aid of some police officers and broke into it closing all the doors from inside.
Mr Siraje Kawooya, reportedly one of the members on the Mosque, said he witnessed every moment of the events as they unfolded.
“Police should hoodwink Muslim community to think that they don’t know people who have besieged our Mosque, because I saw and I know the people who broke into it and were aided by some police officers who cutoff all the roads that lead to the Mosque,” Mr Kawooya told the attentively listening Muslim followers.
It is alleged that the group raided the Mosque in the wee hours of the Wednesday night and took over it for more than 10 hours before police came and reopened it after protracted negotiations between the Muslims leaders and the police led by Kampala Metropolitan Police Commander Haruna Isabirye, who often engaged in consultative talks with assistant Inspector General of Police Andrew Felix Kaweesa. The situation is currently calm with the Muslims allowed to occupy the Mosque.
The suspects were whisked away in police truck to a yet to be known destination.
It is also alleged that Sheikh Kamoga has since the development dispaered and none of mobile phones are on and his family has no clue of his whereabouts.
The whereabouts of the Mosque’s leader Amir Ummah Yunus Kamoga is also not know and his known phones are allegedly off.
This comes after four members of the executive were stripped of the powers to run William Street Mosque. They include Sheik Swidiq Ndaula, Sheik Mustapha Bahiga, Hajj Najib Ssonko and Sheik Hassan Kirya.
The decision followed complaints from worshippers that the officials had dominated the affairs of the mosque for years yet they also sit on the national executive committee.
“A mosque is supposed to have its own management committee, but surprisingly all the affairs have been run by members of the top executive committee .So ,this is unfair and we cannot move like that,” Hajj Umar Ausi Kamoga ,the publicity secretary on the new mosque committee said in an interview with Daily Monitor on Monday.
The worshippers also accuse their leaders of serving for nine years without their mandate and failing to give proper accountabilities of the money collected from the mosque.
Others elected on the mosque committee include, Hajj Haruna Saazi Mabira ,chairperson ,Salim Kasujja(Secretary) ,Hajj Abdulhamid Kiganila ( Treasurer), Abdul Hamid Salim and Hamiis Matovu( both in charge of Defence ) and Sheik Hassan Nyanzi and Yonus Kabenge( Imams)
But Sheik Kirya, who also doubles as the spokesperson of the Kibuli-based Muslim administration said the new team was illegally installed and insisting that the old management is the one supposed to run the mosque.
The Inspector General of Police, Gen. Kale Kayihura, had also indicated that wanted the leaders who had been evicted by the current leaders of the mosque to return.
The mosque has been under contention since 2005 .The Muslim youths seized control of it the same year following reports that the administration of Mufti Shaban Mubajje at Old Kampala had sold it to city businessman Hassan Basajjabalaba through his firm, Haks Express Ltd who later sold it to another businessman Mr Drake Lubega at $2milion .It houses at least 50 shops and a mosque.
Despite Muslims occupying it and collecting dues from shops, Lubaga still insists that it belongs to him and the property legally belongs to him and possesses the title deed. There are unconfirmed reports that government has since compensated Lubega and the property reverted to the Muslims.
This development comes barely a week after two Muslim leaders were gunned down by yet to be known assailants.
Sheikh Dactoor Abdu Kadir Muwaya, the leader of the Shia Muslim Community in Uganda was shot dead at his home in Mayuge district on Thursday (Christmas Day) at around 9.30pm local time (EAT).
Sheikh Mustafa Bahiga was on Monday evening also shot five times and killed, bringing to seven, the tally of top Muslim clerics murdered in just two years.
However, the police said last evening that they were closing in on a big group of hit men.
Last evening, Police Spokesman Fred Enanga said they were now working on intelligence information that could eventually lead to the arrest of key suspects in Bahiga’s murder.

fmukisa@ug.nationmedia.com

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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