Prof. Dr. Muhammadi Lubega Kisambira, the Uganda Muslim Supreme-UMSC National Chairperson, has dispelled fears regarding the potential auction of prime UMSC properties, including the National Mosque. This concern emerged after a High Court ruling following a case brought against the UMSC by Mr. Justus Kyabahwa, a Kampala-based businessman.
Kyabahwa had purchased land from the Council in Ssembabule, fully aware that it had encumbrances and encroachers. When he failed to remove the illegal occupants, he sought compensation, demanding Shillings 18,909,184,000 instead of the original purchase price of Shillings 3.5 billion. Prof. Lubega addressed journalists at the UMSC headquarters on the evening of Nov 24th, upon returning from a trip abroad. He explained how the previous UMSC executives, preceding his current committee, had legitimate reasons to dispose of the land.
“Despite possible procedural errors, both parties should have initially negotiated before resorting to legal action. Kyabahwa rushed to court, causing us harm,” remarked Prof. Lubega. “UMSC respects the law and believes in justice. We acknowledge owing Kyabahwa a refund but not an unrealistic amount with exorbitant interests as indicated in the disputed judgment,” he emphasized.
In his address, Prof. Dr. Muhammadi Lubega urged Mr. Kyabahwa not to avoid negotiation, cautioning against attempting to seize UMSC prime properties under the guise of compensation recovery. He vowed that UMSC would vigorously protect its properties, including the National Mosque, from any attempted misappropriation. The Council plans to file procedural complaints with various government authorities, including the State House Anti-Corruption Unit, the Office of the Attorney General, the Principal Judge, and the Inspectorate of Government (IGG). Additionally, they intend to appeal to higher courts regarding both a stay of execution and setting aside the judgment.
Concluding his statement, Prof. Lubega condemned Haj Abdul Kiyimba, a General Assembly Member, for disruptive behavior at the National Mosque after Friday prayers, despite being part of the meeting that resolved to dispose of the disputed property. He also promised to seek an explanation from the Police for escorting Kiyimba into the Mosque compound even after making several life-threatening utterances, despite UMSC’s request for heightened security following Kiyimba’s threats and incitement to violence on social media. Finally, Prof. Lubega urged all Muslims to maintain peace as the matter is being resolved.
Present at the address were His Eminence Sheikh Abdallah Ibrahim Ssemambo Tamusuza, the Deputy Mufti, Hon Hadji Abbas Sekyanzi Muluubya, the UMSC Secretary-General, Hon Counsel Haj Muhammad Ali Aluma, the Acting Deputy Secretary-General overseeing Finance and Administration, department heads, Regional Assistants to the Mufti, District Kadhis, and others.