A rift has erupted between the Muslim Ntoroko and Bundibugyo Muslim communities over the appointment of Ntoroko county Sheikh by the Acting District Kadhi, Ashiraf Kibwana.
It all started when Kadhi Kibwana with his headquarters appointed and posted Sheikh Twaha Lubega to Ntoroko County without consulting the Ntoroko sheikhs. The sheikhs termed the appointment illegal and against the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) constitution.
Bundibugyo was granted Muslim District on 9th December 2010 by the office of Mufti in Kampala.
The Muslim community in Ntoroko is now accusing Kibwana of illegally appointing Sheikh Twaha Lubega to head Ntoroko County saying he did not follow the legal procedures.
Tusiime Yahaya Yakubu secretary General of the UMSC Ntoroko County says Kibwana appointed Twaha in Ntoroko yet they already had a legal leader known as Sheikh Amin Yahaya.
He accuses the district Kadhi of violating Article 21 section 5 of the UMSC constitution, which states that county sheiks will be appointed by district Kadhi on the advice of the district council of sheiks from a list of three names proposed by county committees.
Tusiime says Twaha’s appointment was illegal because the district Kadhi did not consult the county committee and never participated in the selection of the three names.
He noted that the district Kadhi has created factions in the Muslim community, where by there are those who are pro-Twaha Lubega and those supporting Yahaya Amin thus causing divisionism.
The Ntoroko Muslim community alleges that the district Kadhi connived with Lubega Twaha and posted him to Ntoroko with an aim of extorting resources like slaughtering slabs, markets, lakes and revenue from rich pastoralists.
Ahmed Mago, the UMSC chairman in Ntoroko district says they want independent leadership from Bundibugyo claiming that they have many and qualified sheikhs than Bundibugyo.
He says Lubega completed primary four class and yet the UMSC Constitution says one to qualify to be a sheikh, he must have Thanawi shahadah or “A” level.
They are appealing for immediate help from Mufti Sheikh Shaban Mubajje before the situation goes out of hand, adding that they want sanity and not divisions, which have diverted Muslims from developmental ideas.
When Bundibugyo was granted Muslim District status, Ntoroko Muslim community had opposed and rejected the idea preferring to remain in Tooro for easy access to services.
But the district Kadhi Ashiraf Kibwana says it’s the Kadhi with the mandate to appoint a county sheikh and not the committee of county sheikhs as they allege.
On the issue of education of Sheikh Twaha Lubega, Kibwana said the UMSC considers a person who at least knows four languages but mostly Arabic and Twaha beats all the sheikhs and has a five year experience as required by the UMSC constitution.
He noted that former Ntoroko county sheikh Amin Yahaya, whom they say is legal, was sabotaging the supreme council development activities. Kibwana claims Yahaya has failed to coordinate the UNICEF and Save the Children programs that are being implemented among the Muslim communities to help vulnerable children and widows in the county.