Leadership Wrangles Triggered Muslim Clerics Killing – Don

1340 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Dr Jjemba, a lecturer of Religion and Peace, told the International Crimes Division of the High Court ICD that tension within the fraternity arose when Sheikh Yunus Kamoga refused to hand over the office of the Kampala District Amir.

Makerere University Don Dr Haruna Jjemba has attributed the recent wave of killing of Muslim clerics on leadership wrangles among members of the Muslim fraternity.

Dr Jjemba, a lecturer of Religion and Peace, told the International Crimes Division of the High Court (ICD) that tension within the fraternity arose when Sheikh Yunus Kamoga refused to hand over the office of the Kampala District Amir.

Kamoga, one of the 14 persons accused of masterminding attacks against fellow clerics had been relieved of his duties by the Executive Committee of Jamiatul-Dawa-Issalafia, a religious movement organisation that Dr Jemba, Sheikh Kamoga and others had created to teach Islam and the Quran.

Dr Jjemba told court that Kamoga had been accused of insubordination to the views and concerns of the executive committee, creation of small groups to fight each other, registering his personal organisation called UMMAH house and forcefully taking over the administration of different mosques.

Because of the differences that had emerged among themselves, Dr Jjemba told court that after some time, he and a group of other Muslims including the two slain leaders Mustafa Bahiga and Hassan Ibrahim Kirya, decided to break away from Sheikh Kamoga's leadership.

A very emotional Jjemba shed tears while narrating events that happened on December 28, 2014, the day Sheikh Mustapha Bahiga was gunned down.

He said that while attending Darasa teachings at Wandegeya mosque, the late Bahiga told worshipers that they had been infiltrated by people unknown to them. Dr Jjemba went on to tell court of how he also survived being killed when unknown assailants attacked him at his home in Matugga, four days after Sheikh Kirya was killed.

Also in his testimony, the witness narrated to court presided over by a panel of three justices led by Ezekiel Muhanguzi that before the wave, flyers were distributed in various mosques in Kampala bearing names of the sheikhs on the wanted hit list of the assailants.

Among them were Bahiga, Kirya, Prince Kassim Nakibinge, Ssonko Najib and Sheikh Mohamoud Kibaate.

The 60-year witness also testified that the said flyers which were green in colour and bore his picture with Luganda words inscribed on them of how he should be blamed for the sold Muslim property. Court also heard that Sheikh Kamoga did not attend the burial of either Bahiga or Kirya.

The trial involves 14 men accused of being behind the wave of killings of top Muslim clerics two years ago including sheikhs Kirya and Bahiga.

The accused persons, who among others include the leader of Tabliq Sect Sheikh Yunus Kamoga, have since denied the allegations.