KAMPALA – The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has declined to mediate between the bickering Muslim factions in Uganda saying she is a national leader whose sole aim is to bring together all Ugandans.
Kadaga made the remarks on Wednesday, December 11 while meeting Muslim youths under their body ‘Muslim Ambassadors’ who called on the Speaker to intervene in the ongoing bickering between the old Kampala and Kibuli mosque fractions who have long had disagreements over management of Muslim property and power supremacy.
She said, “Let us concentrate on working with those who are here because all of those are my people, I don’t want to be involved in the bashing.”
The Speaker was reacting to a request made by Male Kassim, National Chairman of Muslim Ambassador who had earlier requested the Speaker to facilitate cooperation between the rival Muslim factions of Kibuli, Nakasero and Old Kampala, saying the rivalry is impeding the success of development projects by the youth.
Male also highlighted several challenges faced by Muslim youths in Uganda like persecution of Muslim suspects by security forces and also asked Kadaga to link the youths with Muslim leaders in Parliament saying the youths have a number of initiatives like the launch of a skilling center.
Kadaga responded saying, “The Chairman of the caucus is here, so they can arrange a meeting with the Parliamentary Muslim caucus then we can work on the issue of launching the skilling center. There are steps to be done before the launch.”
In a related development, Kampala District Council for Imams’ Development Forum also petitioned the Speaker Kadaga seeking Parliament’s intervention into the re-arrest of Muslims after being granted bail by courts.
Led by Sheikh Kasawuli Said, the Kampala Imams say that whenever a prominent person is killed especially the Muslims clerics, the fingers are immediately pointed towards Muslims and yet when court grants suspects bail, court directives are abused by security forces.
The Kampala Imams also called for the establishment of Khadhi courts and also train the Imams and sheikhs on how they should operate the courts.
The group also called on the Executive to expedite the appointment of Uganda’s Ambassadors to Iran and Saudi Arabia after the two countries rejected the ambassadors who had been appointed by President Yoweri Museveni.
Speaker Kadaga promised to look into the issues raised by the Kampala district Imams.