Bunyoro Muslim Leaders Ignored During Eid Prayers

1712 Views Hoima, Uganda

In short
Muslims in Hoima did not hide their long-standing wrangles on Thursday when they ignored some of their leaders during Eid-El-Fitr prayers.

Muslims in Hoima did not hide their long-standing wrangles on Thursday when they ignored some of their leaders during Eid-El-Fitr prayers.
 
Muslim wrangles in Hoima pit the Bunyoro Muslim District Council Executive against Bwikya Muslim Community.

It all started in 2010 when Bwikya Muslim community demanded that their mosque land title name be transferred from Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) to Bwikya Muslim Community. This was strongly opposed by the Bunyoro Muslim District Council Executive headed by Sheikh Musa Babanja, the District Kadi.

This sparked off a bitter disagreement leading to violent confrontations between the two factions early this year. These wrangles were also evident during Eid prayers at Bwikya Hill today, when the district Khadi and members of Bunyoro Muslim District Executive were ignored.

Despite the fact that the district Khadi and the Executive members are high-ranking officials in the Muslim hierarchy, no one recognized their presence. Even the chairperson Bwikya Mosque Iddi Magezi said nothing about them.

When Magezi stood up to talk, he only recognized the Resident District Commissioner, Jean Kaliba, who he also invited to address the faithfuls. In an interview shortly after the prayers, Magezi said Bwikya Mosque does not recognize the district Khadi and the whole Bunyoro district Muslim executive.

He says not until the executive sorts out Bwikya’s concerns, the officials will remain ordinary Muslims at Bwikya mosque.

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The district Kadhi and his executive always attend general prayers at Hoima boma grounds. Sheik Babanja, however, says this time it was intentional to attend prayers at Bwikya mosque. Although his presence was not recognized, Kadhi Babanja said attending prayers at Bwikya was a show that Muslims are working towards being united again.

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In his Eid-El Fitir message, the Mufti of Uganda Sheikh Shaban Mubajje urged Muslims to solve conflicts peacefully.

Four months ago, the district Khadi was evicted from his office located at Bwikya Hill by the Bwikya faction. Mufti Mubajje came and forcefully re-opened the office. This forced the Bwikya faction to sue the Mufti for breaking into their office. The case is currently before Masindi High Court.

Meanwhile several armed police officers were deployed at Bwikya and Hoima boma grounds during prayers. The DPC Augustine Kasangaki was unavailable for comment on the police deployment.
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