TWO days after President Yoweri Museveni offered to mediate in the Muslim wrangles; a group of Imams publicly denounced Mufti Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubajje and threatened to throw him out if he enters any of the 300 or so mosques in Kampala.
This renewed confrontation can only complicate efforts to reach an understanding in the conflict that has split Muslim leaders. The conflict requires an urgent solution. If itis allowed to go on for too long, everyone will be a loser, including non-Muslims.
In the early 1990s when two rival groups fought over control of their Old Kampala headquarters, a policeman was killed.
Consequently over 400 young men were imprisoned and on their release ended up going to the bush. The rival groups should give the mediator a chance. Making such inflammatory statements not only discourages the mediator, but also puts off the other party in the conflict.
This being a delicate situation, the President should engage them cautiously. Legally, Sheikh Mubajje
is the elected leader of the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council, which has representatives from all over Uganda. On the other hand a group of Muslims, mostly based in Kampala, donâ€™t want him and have threatened to throw him out of office. Whereas their methods are unconstitutional, to dismiss them would be simplistic.
The President should listen to all sides, consult widely, and facilitate the conflicting parties to reach an understanding.
Give mediation a chance