Muslim leaders sue UMSC over alleged breach of Muslim Constitution

A section of Muslim faithful have dragged officers of the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) to court questioning the legality of their activities and office occupancy.

UMSC is a body that governs all Muslims in Uganda.

In their notice of motion, the eight Muslim faithful including Dr Marus Eton, Sheikhs Ahmada Barongo and Ahmada Izzudin and Eng Abdul Nasir Mugisha among others, contend that the UMSC office bearers are in office unlawfully since they are purportedly contravening the Muslim constitution.

In the suit filed in the Civil Division of the High Court at Kampala in 2022, the plaintiffs accuse the officers of the UMSC of acting illegitimately saying the Constitutional Review Commission that was appointed by the General Assembly of 2016 was allegedly fraudulently substituted with other persons without the consent of General Assembly – a body mandated to handle constitutional amendments.

The Constitutional Review Commission which had been instituted was expected to collect views of the wider Muslim community whose population had been estimated to be approximately nine million people but in the report of the Commission it was allegedly stated that they only interacted with 4,845 Muslims; a ratio that they say was below the average of the total Muslim community in Uganda.

In his supplementary affidavit, through his lawyers of M/S Kob Advocates & Solicitors, Eng Mugisha says in the General Assembly of the UMSC that was held on April 8, 2017, it was agreed that the tenure of the office bearers and the council be extended for a period of five years to enable completion of the intended programmes, thus, it was supposed to run until May 13, 2022.  

“The organisers of the meeting had no mandate of convening the General Assembly since their term in office had expired on May 13, 2022 and the same was never renewed. The intended amendment of the constitution was supposed to be an all-inclusive exercise with wide consultation of all the Muslims countrywide including sheikhs and other Muslim leaders,” Eng Mugisha says in his supplementary affidavit.

Adding: “While convening the General Assembly of 11-13 July 2022, the organisers contravened the laid down rules of procedure for UMSC General Assembly and Council meetings. The members of the General Assembly were coerced by the Mufti to pass the constitution as a condition for them to have transport refund at the end of the assembly.”

The Muslim faithful say the manner in which the business before, during and after the passing of the constitutional amendments of the UMSC was conducted was allegedly all unlawful and marred with fraud.

In the miscellaneous cause number 254 of 2020 seen by Kazi-njema News, the litigants want court to quash the resolutions of the General Assembly of the UMSC that were passed between 11th-13th July, 2022, as well as the constitutional amendment of the UMSC Constitution an order of prohibition restraining the officers of the UMSC from jointly or singularly from conducting the affairs of the Muslim community in a manner that is not in conformity with the teachings of Islam, Quran Hadith and the Muslim constitution of the respondent, damages to the applicants and costs of the suit.

The copy of the suit was received by the UMSC on April 16, 2023.


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