Mufti commissions controversial market

Mufit commissions

Dep. Mufti Sheikh Abdallah Ssemambo cuts a ribbon to signal the commissioning of the market in Luwero

Sheikh Abdallah Ssemambo, the Deputy Mufti of Uganda has commissioned a contested market on the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) land in Luwero town council.

In June this year, Sheikh Ramadhan Mulindwa, the Kadhi of Luwero Muslim district offered a part of the 20-acre piece of Muslim land in Kalongo-miti zone near Kasana Mosque in Luwero Town Council to host a produce market.

Sheikh Mulindwa said the decision was aimed at generating funds for the Muslim district and protecting the land from encroachment.

However, a group of Muslims allied to the Kibuli based faction opposed the move citing issues related to Islamic teachings and the contravention to the strategic plan for the development of the land in question.

Whereas the UMSC was insisting that the market will spur development through among others contribution to revenue collection and employment given that the land has for long remained idle, the Kibuli faction argues that some vendors are bound to abuse it by among others selling alcohol and pork.

The talks between the rival factions over the dispute have also since collapsed.

Irene Nakamatte, the town clerk of Luwero town Council and LC 3 Chairperson, Chris Johns Buwembo also insists that the market is illegal, saying that those behind it did not consult the authorities before establishing it.

Recently, the town clerk directed the now hundreds of traders to vacate the land and relocate to already gazetted markets in vain.

As the dispute over the establishment of the market persists, Sheikh Mubaje has cemented its existence.

The Deputy Mufti, Sheikh Abdallah Ssemambo commissioned the market over the weekend on behalf of the Mufti.

Sheikh Ssemambo first commissioned the newly built Luwero Muslim District Offices and did the same for the market.

Sheikh Ssemambo explained that his boss could not make it due to official duties.

Acknowledging that the market is still being protested by some parties, he has asked leaders to ensure that this market keeps developing no matter what.

When asked in an interview with Uganda Radio Network (URN) on why he has commissioned a market, which is still being contested by the Town Council authorities as they point at legal issues, Sheikh Ssemambo responded that he has advised the Kadhi to liaise with the dissenting voices because this is a development worth embracing.

Luwero LC V chairman, Erastus Kibirango, who also attempted to act as a mediator between the warring factions over this market before the planned talks collapsed, said there is need to address the difference for the peaceful existence of this market.

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