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Police deploy at William Street Mosque over wrangles

KAMPALA. Police have deployed at Masjid Noor Mosque commonly known as William Street Mosque as wrangles between Tabliq and Old Kampala Muslim leadership over Muslim property deepens.

Kampala Central police have since Wednesday taken over guard of the mosque and shops on plot 30 on William Street as Nakasero Tabliq leaders and Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) from Old Kampala Mosque accuse each other of mismanaging rent remittances.

Kampala Metropolitan police spokesperson, Luke Owoyesigyire, said police shall stay at the mosque and shops until the two warring Muslim factions reach consensus regarding the management of the said property.

“Chaos was building at William Street Mosque and we could not wait to see people killing each other. We intervened and we have decided to keep around the mosque as the wrangling parties find a solution,” Mr Owoyesigyire said.

Chaos erupted at William Street Mosque on Wednesday when Tabliq leaders from Nakasero Mosque suspected that UMSC had deployed members of the infamous Boda boda 2010 to forcefully take over management Muslim property.

The visibly charged Muslims camped at William Street and waited for UMSC leaders who were to hold a meeting with their rivals.

However, the projected meeting did not happen as the charged Tabliq Muslims chased away UMSC spokesperson, Hajji Nseroko Mutumba and UMSC Secretary General, Ramathan Mugalu.

Sheikh Ayub Nyende, Nakasero Mosque General Secretary, blamed the chaos on UMSC which deviated from the agreement that was reached between the two parties in the presence of President Museveni at State House in 2016.

Sheikh Nyende said President who bought back the land title that had been sold to city mogul, Drake Lubega, resolved that the land title was to be in the custodian of Solicitor General, Francis Atwoke and a neutral account was to be created for rent collections.

“We agreed that a neutral account was to be opened and all the rent collection would be deposited on this account.

This money was to be shared after we have reached consensus. We were surprised that the money has instead been deposited on Masjid Noor Muslim Community account that is only accessed by UMSC,” Sheikh Nyende said.

He added that when they tasked the committee headed by Sulaiman Semakula to avail accountability for the last three years’ rent, they referred them to UMSC.

Muslim shops at William Street, according to Nakasero Muslim leadership, earn over Shs90m monthly totaling to Shs1.08b annually.

Mr Mugalu scoffed at Tabliq leaders insisting that the Muslim property at William Street are strictly under UMSC management adding that they also demand accountability over the same property since 2006.

“We [UMSC] should be the ones asking for accountability because we have never got an explanation on how the money collected from the Muslim property was managed from 2006 to 2014,” he said.

Muslim property and the mosque at William Street were being managed by a committee that was appointed by then Tabliq leader, Sheikh Younus Kamoga, before he was arrested over terrorism.

The Tabliq leadership on Thursday suspended five Muslims who have been in charge of rent collection accusing them of conspiring with UMSC against Tabliq Muslims.

The suspended Muslims include Sulaiman Semakula, Musa Katuma, Hawa Kasujja, Salim Kasujja and Abdul Kigaanira.

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