Amended Draft UMSC Constitution Handed over to Moslem Council
By Evans Najuna
The Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) Constitution Amendment Commission handed over the draft amended Constitution to Council. The historical event took place on Monday at Old Kampala National Mosque (Gaddaffi Mosque) —UMSC Headquarters. The mufti of Uganda, His Eminence Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubaje, together with other Council officials received it on behalf of all Uganda Moslems.
Addressing special guests at the event held in the UMSC Conference Hall, the Mufti paid special tribute to President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni for extending financial support towards the exercise. He also in a special way thanked Commission led by Dr. Edris Sserugo Kasenene for their tireless efforts in executing the task successfully that resulted in the draft Constitutional amendment. “It is now 36 years since the last amendment was carried out. We indeed have tested and experienced its advantages and we have also seen the weaknesses. We are hopeful that this draft Constitution will meet the aspirations of Ugandan Muslims premised on unity and development,” Sheikh Mubaje pointed out.
He revealed that the draft Constitution will be tabled before various UMSC Organs starting with the joint session, which brings together the executive and college of Sheikhs before it is tabled before the General Assembly for ratification. The General assembly, the highest decision-making organ of UMSC is scheduled to convene between July 11th to 13th 2022. It was initially planned to take place between July 5th- 7th 2022 but it was delayed on request from the commission.
Mufti ended his speech beseeching the Almighty Allah to bless and strengthen Muslims with divine protection as they move to implement the awaited Constitution as a united community for future generations to come. Earlier on, the UMSC the Secretary General Ramadhan Mugalu also thanked the Commission for withstanding the challenges when they went to the field to collect views from the Muslim population. He recalled the personal efforts of the late Dr. Abdukadir Balonde the former UMSC Chairman for steering the General Assembly when it passed a resolution that okayed the constitutional amendment process. Speaking on the same occasion, Sheikhs Abdu Obeid Kamulegeya, the former Chief Kadhi of Uganda, and Muhammad Yunus Kamoga, the Nakaseero Mosque-based Amiir hailed the Mufti for the bold steps he took in the right direction to see to it that Muslims are given an opportunity to present their views in the constitution amendment process.
“When we united in December last year, we made declarations that we were to amend the constitution and have a provision for the establishment of the UMSC property Trust. It is really gratifying that we are alive to witness this day the Commission returns with the draft after collecting views from Muslims from the entire country. This is unprecedented,” Sheikh Kamulegeya remarked.
Sheikh Kamoga on the other hand noted that now that Muslims have submitted their views what remains is to see that their proposals are finally accepted and eventually implemented.
The Commissioners led by Dr. Edris Sserugo Kasenene thanked the General Assembly for identifying them and availing them of an opportunity to serve the UMMAH in such a position. The other commissioners are Dr. Wardah Rajab Gyagenda head of review & methodology Committee, Dr. Adam Makmot Kibwanga, head of the legal and draft subcommittee, and Sheikh Kassim Kamugisha, the head of publicity.
The commissioners also expressed gratitude to the UMSC Management for providing them the necessary facilitations that have enabled them to accomplish the task successfully. They each explained in detail how they progressed with the exercise right from the time they were sworn in, traversed the country, and the engagements they had with the Muslim population, professionals, Gov’t officials, Ugandan Muslims in diaspora and other key officials. They also explained the challenges they faced, and the tools and methodologies they used to arrive at the draft constitution. “We read several documents, constitutions from Muslim Countries, Organizations such as Iraq, Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, UK, USA,” said Dr. Kibwanga. In attendance were His Eminence Sheikh Muhammad Ali Waiswa, the 2nd Deputy Mufti, Members of Majlis Al Ulaama, and the management committee among others.