Deputy Mufti of Uganda backs countrywide registration of Imams

Deputy Mufti of Uganda backs countrywide registration of Imams
Several Muslim Clerics in Uganda have been picked up by security

Luwero, Uganda | URN | The Deputy Mufti of Uganda, Sheikh Abdallah Ssemambo has backed the nationwide registration of all Imams.

In mid-November this year, the Kadhi of Luwero Muslim District, Sheikh Ramadhan Mulindwa embarked on the registration of all Imams and other religious leaders at Mosques in the district.

The decision followed the arrest of Muslim Clerics for their alleged links to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebel group.

The Registration came days after security personnel arrested Sheikh Swaibu Segujja, the Assistant Secretary for Zakat in Luwero Muslim District and the Imam of Butanza Mosque and Sheikh Muhammed Bruhan Ssemwanga, the Imam of Lusenke Mosque in Wobulenzi Town Council and teacher at Lugo Orphanage in Lukomera, Katikamu Sub-County and Rashid Ibn Warid Islamic Primary School in Wobulenzi Town Council.

They were arrested amid investigations into the role of the ADF in multiple bomb blasts in Kampala city. Imam Segujja was later released after interrogation but Imam Ssemwanga was transferred to the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Kireka for further investigations.

Recounting his arrest, Sheikh Swaibu Segujja said that the operatives released him after explaining to them that he does not know the whereabouts of his sister Aisha Nassanga and her husband whom they were looking for because of their links to ADF.

Sheikh Ramadhan Mulindwa, the Kadhi of Luwero Muslim district, said that in the wake of the arrests and others that happened before, they decided to register all Imams with his office through the County Sheikhs. Mulindwa also directed the Imams to register all religious leaders that work at Mosques in the district.

He said that the registration exercise would help his office to trace and defend the Imams in case of any arrests regarding terror-related activities or any other criminal activity. Mulindwa said that they are often challenged when some Imams are arrested because they are working at Mosques without their knowledge.

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He noted that there are over 280 Mosques in Luwero district but 70 per cent of the Imams operate them without knowledge of Luwero Muslim district.

Now, officiating at the annual Luwero Muslim District Maulid celebrations at Kasana Mosque in Luwero Town, Sheikh Ssemambo said that he was impressed by this development by Luwero district Kadhi.

According to Sheikh Ssemambo, this initiative is worth emulating, thus the need to have it conducted across all Muslim districts in the country.

Sheikh Ssemambo said that many unscrupulous people hide among Muslims and commit crimes but this exercise will be of much help in looking into this challenge.

He says that because the Imams are on ground, they will ably help in identifying each one so that the records are kept well and in case of any help, say arrests of Clerics, they would ably run to their rescue.