Uganda Today: a section of concerned Muslims in Uganda have sharply criticized the new Uganda Muslim Supreme Council Constitution branding it a worse operations working document compared to the previous one that was amended.
Muslims vehemently object to the reviewed constitution because it vests a lot of power to the Mufti hence giving him a lee way to usurp and override the powers of the General Assembly which is the supreme governing and administrative body of Uganda Muslim Council.
The brewing misgivings among Uganda Muslim Supreme Council seem to be emanating from last year’s president Museveni’s intervention that culminated into a donation of 2.5b and two cars so that the supreme body of Muslims carries out country wide elections of Muslim leaders at all its district levels.
The General Assembly took up the mantle of electing the UMSC electoral commission whose elected chairperson wasn’t a favourite to the Mufti. Mr. Omar Wasswa who won the position of the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council Independent Electoral Commission chairman elections, garnered 236 votes of the total college vote of 256 members.
Incidentally, the Mufti’s favourite who only got 20 votes was automatically made the vice chairperson of the of UMSC Independent Electoral Commission that was mandated to to carry out elections at the district levels. It thus emerged that the working relationship between the chairperson and his deputy couldn’t be smooth with the latter working clandestinely to fail the former.
Nevertheless on December 03, 2022, the EC sworn in the General Assembly members. On December 13th 2022, just 10 days after swearing in, in total usurpation of the General Assembly’s mandate, the Mufti wrote a letter to the Electoral Commission Chairman demanding for accountability on how the election funds that were dispensed were utilised. The chairman fruitlessly tried to demand for the same from the various commissioners, the response from them was so lukewarm giving reasons that they wanted more time.
On 16th December 2022, a joint Session comprising of 20 UMSC executive members and 120 eminent sheiks sat to discuss how the elections of the general assembly were conducted. Through the influence of the Mufti, 8 out of the 13 electoral commissioners connived to move a vote of no confidence in their chairman.
This action gave a lee way to the Mufti to usurp the powers of the General Assembly and that of the Joint session to write a letter of suspension to the EC chairman who had been overwhelmingly elected on July13, 2022. The suspension letter was written on March 24, but was served to the chairman on March 27, 2023 and there after evicted from office by security details of the Mufti.The vice chairman is now acting EC chairman.
Omar Wasswa Speaks Out
Reached for a comment, the suspended EC , chairman says this was a coup against him because no due process was followed and that he wasn’t accorded any hearing as to why he couldn’t avail the accountability in just only 10 days.
What is Mufti’s Say
When we contacted the Mufti to hear his say on the alleged misgivings, he declined to pick our call but had the courtesy of sending an automatic text message “please text”. However, the public relations officer Ashraf Zziwa Muvawala vehemently denied the allegations that His Eminence the Mufti usurped the powers of the General Assembly, giving reasons that , “the General Assembly, according to the constitution is completely out of the day today management of council. The constitution vests these powers in the management committee chaired by the Mufti. Thus whatever decision the Mufti takes against any staff including those of the independent electoral commission is within his jurisdiction”