The Uganda Muslim Supreme Council council (UMSC) is set to register all the imams in Uganda under it’s structures in a move to eliminate impersonators who commit mischief in the names of imams in Uganda.
In an interview the spokesperson Uganda Muslim Supreme Council Hajji Muhammad Nsereko Mutumba said “the rationale behind the registration is that people are masquerading as imams and doing evil things, others are masquerading as sheikhs and start hoodwinking people.”
He said on several occasions, UMSC has received many complaints from different Muslims across the country of half baked sheikhs and Muslim leaders who extort money from the public to help them get blessing sand spiritual healing among others.
“Some of the fake sheikhs have reached to the extent of defiling innocent girls and I think you have heard of a scenario where certain person, who is alleged to be an imam married a fellow man. So the reason is to identify the rightful people because an imam means someone who leads prayers in a certain mosque,”he said.
He noted that under UMSC structures, no one can call himself an imam without having a mosque where he leads and identity cards.
“These IDs are totally different from the national identity cards for proper identification so that people are not confused because some people including journalists could give someone a wrong title by calling him sheik, Hajjat or imam because of the dressing code,beards among others and that is what we want to eliminate,”he said.
Mutumba said the registration will start as soon as possible though he didn’t give the special period of time to kick off the process.
“We had about three structures such as a village mosque, county structure and district structure and now we have added on a regional structure as soon as these are well established and entrenched,we shall begin.we are still a little busy skilling and teaching them the methodology of leadership and also establishing their secretariat,”he said.
He said Uganda Muslim Supreme Council has fully registered all the mosques and Muslim counties in the country.
“We have administrative structures in all Muslim districts. These imams were democratically voted by the village Muslims so for us we are just supervising and creating the policies for them to implement,”he said.
The UMSC secretary general Ramathan Mugalu said the process of registering imams is very crucial is strengthening Umsc administrative structures.
He said that the programme of uniting all the muslims in Uganda is underway because people are tired of the continuous conflicts among muslim leaders.
He also added that creation of more 13 Muslim districts like Kiruhura, Buvuma, Entebbe, Buikwe, Kibaale, Kiryandongo, Gulu, Kanungu, Kyenjonjo, Kibuku, Kakumiro Luuka and Kamwenge will make it 78 Muslim districts to enhance service to Muslims.
“We want to ease service delivery, so now we have 78 districts, we are trying to decentralise power, some districts were very big like Masindi among others,”he said.
Some imams from different mosques shared their views with The Nile Post about this move taken UMSC.
Baluku Abdul Rashid Ali ,the imam of Masjid Swahaba Budo, Mpangala Maggwa in Wakiso district said: “The idea of our leaders from the Supreme Council of registering all imams for easy identification is good and so getting the IDs.”