The Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) has filed an application for a stay of execution following the High Court’s decision to attach its prime properties, including the UMSC headquarters in Old Kampala and properties in Entebbe, Jinja, Mbale, and Nakasongola districts.
This application is slated for a hearing at the Court of Appeal on November 22nd, 2023, as announced by Hadji Abbas Sekyanzi Muluubya, the UMSC Secretary General. He disclosed this information during a joint media briefing held at the UMSC headquarters alongside Counsel Haj Muhammad Ali Aluma, the Deputy in charge of Finance and Administration.
In a comprehensive three-page statement, Muluubya outlined the origins of a court case initiated by Mr. Justus Kyabahwa, a wealthy businessman, against UMSC in June 2023. Kyabahwa sought compensation for land known as Ranch 31 A in Ssembabule District.
According to their sale agreement, Kyabahwa had paid Shillings 3,584,000,000 to UMSC for the property. However, a dispute arose when Kyabahwa employed individuals without UMSC’s knowledge to forcefully evict squatters from the land, leading to destruction and subsequent legal action against UMSC by the squatters, a case still awaiting final judgment.
In June 2023, Kyabahwa sued UMSC for Shillings 18,909,184,000 in compensation, a move that deprived UMSC of the opportunity to defend itself adequately. Despite expressing dissatisfaction and initiating an appeal, UMSC faced rapid and unfavorable judgments from the High Court, allowing execution orders to attach UMSC properties for recovery, even amidst pending appeals at the Court of Appeal.
Honorable Muluubya assured the Muslim community that UMSC’s legal team is actively pursuing justice against those seeking to seize their properties. He urged unity among Muslims to support the Council in this legal battle, discouraging division perpetuated by misguided elements within the community.
Counsel Aluma highlighted the High Court’s dismissal of crucial facts, denying UMSC a fair opportunity to present its case. He emphasized the rapid handling of the case during court vacations, underscoring this as a major challenge due to its unfairness and lack of justice. The media briefing was attended by Sheikh Imran Ssali, Secretary for Religious Affairs, and Sheikh Ali Juma Shiwuyu, Secretary for Hija and UMRA.