Government has taken over the management of Kabigi Taqwa Islamic institute in Bukomansimbi district in an attempt to ease the tension between Makerere University lecturer Dr. Haruna Jjemba and muslim community there over its administration.
Sharon Ankunda, the Bukomansimbi Resident District Commissioner (RDC) announced the decision on behalf of the district security committee at the school.
Speaking at the meeting, Ankunda said their decision is line with two court orders.
“There was an order issued on May 20th 2022 maintaining the status quo at the time of filling the application. The foundation, which ran the school last term, continues to do so until the miscellaneous appeal is determined.”
She also ordered that the disputing parties should not harvest the trees on the school land or construct any other building until the determination of the appeal.
The new orders nullified the earlier one issued by Julius Borore, the deputy registrar Masaka High Court on April 6 2022 that left the school in the hands of Sheikh Abdul Jabbar Idris Mawanda.
“So now after careful scrutiny, we have realized that there is tension between Dr. Haruna Jjemba and the community. We are also aware that the school has registered P7 candidates who are soon writing their final exams. It’s the government policy that all school going children are at school. Since it is our responsibility to enforce the government policy, starting on Monday Sept 12th 2022, the District Education Officer – DEO and CAO shall manage the school as the security situation normalises pending the disposal of the court case,”Ankunda announced.
Genesis of dispute
Several decades ago, prominent Muslims including the late Hamedi Basajjabaka, the father of Dr. Jjemba teamed up and donated land to host several Muslim projects.
Basajjabaka donated five acres of land, late Sakib Bagenda 2 acres, his son the late Hajj Abubakar Mugerwa one acre, Hajj Musa Katungulu 7 acres and the late Muhammad Tabula one acre
Their vision was to have a center comprising schools right from the lower level to secondary, a health center, mosque, student dormitories and a school farm.
The said development drew enthusiasm from Muslims in the area and other places who joined hands to donate funds for the proposed developments. They later managed to secure funding from Arab countries.
As time went by, the school gained recognition nationally and internationally.
When the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) was established in 1972, Kabigi Taqwa just like the rest of muslim founded schools came under its management.
Unfortunately, the land on which it was located was not titled. In 1982, UMSC lobbied for its teachers’ salaries from Muslim World League, the Saudi Arabia based International Charity. The salary scheme ran until the early 1990s.
It is reported that in 1991, Sheikh Ali Kivumbi, the acting Principal of the School in working with the school management committee hand-picked by Dr. Sheikh Haruna Jjemba, chose to register the school under Jjemba’s private company Kabigi Taqwa Foundation Limited.
This didn’t go down well with Muslims who accused Dr. Jjemba of scheming to grab their school.
However, Jjemba justified his decision, saying that his late father was one of the donors of the land hosting the school, adding that he wanted to provide all the technical support to sustain the vision of the founders resulting in endless court battles.
The community mobilized themselves and identified Sheikh Abdul Jabbar Idris Mawanda, one of the old boys of the school as their team leader to defend their interest.
But Jjemba dragged Mawanda to court over alleged trespass on his property.
The matter is pending in Masaka High Court.