Jinja Muslim leaders arrive in Kampala to meet minister over land threats
Last Updated on: 25th October 2022, 09:47 am
The Muslim leaders will Dr Sam Mayanja over land under threats from greedy vendors.
By Nelly Otto
Kampala – October 25, 2022: A group of Muslim leaders from the Busoga sub-region will Tuesday, 25 October 2022 meet the Minister of State for Lands Dr Sam Mayanja.
According to very trusted sources, in an interview with TND News, the delegation is led by the Busoga Regional Kadhi Dr Hussein Mohammad Bowa who will table their grievances following a wrangle between two groups of Muslims in Jinja City.
Both groups are claiming ownership of a piece of land in the city centre. This is threatening the peace and stability of followers and leaders.
The land that comprises plots 11-19 Mvule Crescent is pitting Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) against Jinja Muslim Club which also houses a health centre, primary school and a makeshift mosque.
Each side accuses the other of having intentions to grab the 4-acre land which was founded by Muslim residents of Asian descent in Jinja way back in the early 1950s as a sports ground.
According to the records available, former President Iddi Amin Dada who ruled from January 1971 to April 1979 issued a decree which handed over all the properties of non-citizen Asians to the UMSC.
This was after Amin, in an attempt to popularize his so-called Economic War, expelled the nun citizen Asians who hurriedly left behind properties (buildings, factories and land) worth billions of shillings.
“…this is to confirm to you my approval of the under mentioned houses and industries left by the non-citizen Muslim Asians to the Muslim Supreme Council to be looked after by the UMSC…,” reads Amin’s letter of confirmation of the decree issued earlier.
Amin in his 27 September 1973 communication to the Minister of Minerals and Water Resources gave a list of more than 200 properties in all major towns including Jinja that henceforth would be under the management of UMSC.
Among the properties in Busoga (then a district) included Plots 27 Ghokale Road East, Plot 14 Haji Tamac Road, Plot 11 Mvule Crescent (Muslim Club), Plot 5 Radio Road, Plot 8 Iganga Road, Plot 29-31 Gabula Road and 16 First Lane, and others.
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The Regional Khadhi in charge of Busoga Muslim region Dr Hussein Muhammad Bowa accuses some members of the Club which he describes as ‘defunct’ of alleged mismanagement of the proceeds for personal use.
Dr Bowa now wants state agencies like the Lands Desk at State House, the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development and the CID to take a keen interest in investigating the matter.
We have learnt from credible sources that a powerful delegation aligned with the UMSC will on Tuesday meet the Minister of State for Lands Dr Sam Mayanja whose fight against land-related injustices has elicited a lot of support from the citizens.
The Jinja District Khadhi Sheikh Ismail Basoga declined to divulge details since his immediate boss (regional Khadi) is already handling the matter but maintains that the facility is under the administration of UMSC.
However, a group of people claiming to be the rightful owners have dismissed the claims saying the property in question legally belongs to the Jinja Muslim Club.
According to Mohammed Bakaki the acting spokesperson of the Club, the presidential decree was rescinded by Uganda’s parliament implying it’s now desolate.
“…the second parliament rescinded the decree and asked all the owners of those properties to reclaim them including Jinja Muslim Club so let nobody feed us on lies…” he said in an interview.
He also claims the leadership of the Club went to the Minister of Finance and the Departed Asian Custodian Board which issued them with a Repossession certificate.
Relatedly Ahamad Mubiru the secretary says the executive members of the group have resolved to first meet and engage the Mufti of Uganda Sheikh Ramadan Mubajje this week.
“…there is a lot of misinformation and distortion, so we want to clarify certain issues to him before we can think of other options including legal redress …” Mubiru told this reporter.
Background of Jinja Muslim Club
According to the documents available (which we have obtained copies of), the now contentious Mvule Crescent was previously the property of the Uganda Protectorate Government which was given to the Jinja Muslim Club on 2nd December 1954.
Andrew Benjamin Cohen who was the Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the Uganda Protectorate granted a certificate of incorporation to Jinja Muslim Club as the registered trustees of the Club on the 4th March 1954.
It had 13 members who were all Asians with Adamaly E. Kaderbhoy as the Club President while Raze K. Jaffer as Vice President and Shemaudin Mohamed as Treasurer.
The members unanimously resolved and appointed Adamaly Kaderbhoy, Mohammed Jaffer, Reza Jaffer and Shamaudin Mohamed as trustees of the Club.
The objectives of the Club included the provision of its members with sports such as cricket, tennis, croquet or any other games and sports and also to provide members with a library and reading room and with social and musical entertainment.