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Citizen Weekly

Sunday 19 October 2014


All is not well at the Union of Muslim Councils for Eastern, Central and Southern Africa after the sacking of a Ugandan sheikh Ibraheem Ssali as secretary general.
Sheikh Ssali is said to be blaming the UMC executive with Prof Abdulgaffar of Kenya for his unceremonial exit. The sacking is now threatening the African Regional Muslim Union.
Others on the UMC executive of seven members are Mozambique’s Sheikh Zacharia Inuso (first vice chairman), Mwale (second vice chairman), Sheikh Shaban Mubajje (Uganda), Sheikh Hamid Ali (Madagascar) and Sheikh Swaleh Kadhi (Zanzibar).
The sacking of Sheikh Ibraheem Ssali as secretary general has threatened to break up the regional umbrella organisation for Muslim heads.
Ssali, a Makerere university lecturer, was sacked recently. Congolese Mufti Sheikh Abdallah Mangala and his Zambian counterpart Asadullah Mwale joined the World Islamic Call Society country director Muhammad Shatri to announce Ssali’s sacking at the press conference. Wics, a Libyan NGO, is UMC’s main funder. It had fully backing and sponsorship of the late Libyan strongman Muammar Gadaffi.
Two camps have existed in recent time in the management of the union leading to a stalemate between Ssali and Shatri over who was in charge at UMC. An emergency meeting to address the infightings has been on.
Congolese Mufti Mangala announced the appointment of Sheikh Haruna Kasangaki, the administrator at UMC, as the acting secretary general.
As the power struggle between Shatri and Ssali heightened, we have information that Ssali offered to resign during a meeting held in Khartoum in June. Indeed, on July 1, Ssali tendered in his resignation letter but it was restrained by Mangala.
According to an insider, Ssali convened the meeting on the sidelines of an international conference for religious leaders organised by the Inter-religious council of Uganda. Shatri, though not an executive member of UMC, had been invited to the meeting but skipped it.
UMC was founded in 1986 with financial support from the late Col Muammar Gaddafi during a convention held in the Burundian capital, Bujumbura. With a membership of 29 states, UMC enjoyed financial support from Gaddafi through Wics.

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