There are different opinions among Muslim leaders in the Luwero district about the meeting that has been set up to teach them about radicalism and extremism and to encourage social and economic change.
The meeting is organized by Hajji Musa Lukandwa in conjunction with the Greater Luwero Muslim Chairman, Hajji Musa Kakande. The meeting is scheduled to take place at Luwero Islamic Primary School on Wednesday, August 24th, 2022. General Kahinda Otafiire, Minister of Internal Affairs, has been invited as the chief guest.
However, Luwero District Kadhi Sheikh Ramadhan Mulindwa has issued a notice to all county sheikhs and their followers not to attend the meeting, saying it is not beneficial to them. Mulindwa explains that in February this year, the same group organized a similar message at Kasana UMEA Playground, but to date, the government has not addressed any of the issues raised on that day.
Mulindwa says that such meetings are organized by some individuals to get money from a government and not to address the issues affecting Muslims. He also wants to know why the meeting was set up without consulting either his office or the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC).
Sheikh Sayyid Nyanzi, the Zirobwe County Sheikh, says that he received an invitation to attend and mobilize Imams among other leaders to attend the said meeting. He, however, says that he decided to opt out after learning that the organizers didn’t use the structures of UMSC.
“I agree with district Kadhi that such meetings are not intended for social transformation or peace but to benefit the individuals who organize them. “As a result, I will not attend or mobilize anyone for the meeting,” Sheikh Nyanzi stated.
Abdulmalik Kisitu, the Secretary for Kalagala County, also questioned why the meeting intended to sensitize them to counter-terrorism targets only Muslims and not members of other religious denominations. Kisitu claims that such gatherings foster negative stereotypes of Muslims and that he will not attend.
“We have informed our followers that any person who attends the meeting will be held accountable as an individual for the resolutions or deliberations made,” Kisitu said.
But Hajji Musa Lukandwa insists that despite the notice by Kadhi, the meeting will go on as planned. Lukandwa says that Kadhi is bitter because he is not among the organizers and that the meeting is being spearheaded by a rival faction in his area.
He also expresses concern that Muslims in Luwero will report him to Otafiire for allegedly establishing a market on their land without their consent.Lukandwa explained that the meeting was called in the wake of insecurity in the area, which included attacks on policemen, arrests of Imams and Muslims at Walusi Hill, among others.
“The organizers are free to invite Kadhi Mulindwa or not, but he shouldn’t sabotage the meeting. This is a national program to sensitize all Muslims on security, irrespective of the faction they belong to. “Preparations are ongoing and right now I am heading to the Resident District Commissioner to harmonize the program for the meeting,” Lukandwa said.
Last week, Luwero district authorities failed to resolve a dispute between the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council and Uganda Muslim Education Association-UMEA Limited, a private association, over the supervision of 35 Muslim-founded schools in the district. The dispute came to the fore after Luwero District Education Officer, Florence Bbosa, received nominations from the School Management Committees from UMSC and UMEA Limited.