Hundreds of Muslims who thronged Masaka Central Mosque for Friday prayers today have been turned away by the police.
Muslims traveled from Kyazaanga, Bukomansimbi, Kiwangala and Lukaya to attend prayers led by the newly-appointed District Kadhi, Sheikh Swaibu Ndugga. Ndugga was made Kadhi on Saturday last week when the former District Kadhi, Sheikh Huzairu Kiruuta was forced out of office, ending his 34-year service.
22 of the 42 members of the Masaka Muslim Council voted to suspend Kiruuta indefinitely. They accused him of defying council resolutions and of failing to work for growth of Islam.
In anticipation of a fight between pro and anti Kiruuta factions, the police last evening cordoned off Masaka Central Mosque and have maintained their positions today.
The anti-Kiruuta faction, which supports the leadership of the rival Mufti of Uganda, Sheikh Zubairi Kayongo, say the police action will not prevent them from holding a ceremony to inaugurate the new District Kadhi. The ceremony is expected to take place at Masaka Golf Course.
Pro-Kiruuta groups are also opposed to the closing of Masaka Central Mosque. Zuura Bitamissi, who supports the leadership of Mufti Shaban Mubajje, says the police are not a neutral party in the matter. She accuses the District Police Commander, Haruna Isabirye of being a Kayongo sympathizer.
Isabirye denies this claim. He says he is under instruction to stop the use of Masaka Central Mosque for security reasons. He says there are reports that some people have traveled from Kampala intentionally to disrupt prayers at the mosque.
masaka district kadhi