Uganda: Muslims Demand Khadi's Removal

Arua, Uganda - Chaos engulfed Arua town when hundreds of Muslims took to the streets demanding the removal of their district Khadi from office over alleged financial mismanagement.

The protestors accused Sheikh Amin Maga of misusing Shs14 million meant for the management of an abattoir, Shs20 million collected for taxes and Shs5 million for an administration block.

However, Sheikh Maga denied the allegations of financial mismanagement and said he welcomes any inquiries. By the time the police reached the scene, protestors had deflated tyres of the Khadi's vehicle and had beaten his driver.

Confronting police

The protestors dared the anti-riot police armed with teargas and rubber bullets, by buying water and petrol to confront the security officers. Shop owners on Adumi Road closed their business premises amid fear of looting and destruction. Mr Muhammed Bada, a protestor told Daily Monitor that they are tired of Sheikh Maga's administration, saying he has not initiated any development.

"We do not want him because he has swindled all the money for abattoir management. We want a new and transparent leadership," he said on Tuesday. The demonstration comes on the heels of a meeting between Mufti Shaban Mubajje, Sheikh Maga and the believers to resolve the dispute.

Mufti Mubajje said a team of auditors would be sent to review the accounts of the district. "We are still fighting the tainted image of being a religion of violence and the Khadi is not untouchable. Once the team comes out with evidence of mismanagement of funds, I will discipline him," Mufti Mubajje said.

In September last year, Sheikh Maga survived being stoned during prayers by Muslims who accused him of engaging in partisan politics.

Expeditious investigations

The District Police Commander, Mr Dan Byaruhanga, who took nearly 40 minutes to calm the protestors, said investigations into the matter would be handled expeditiously. "We shall make sure all the security team gets on board to avert any further violence."

The Presidential Advisor on Religious Affairs, Hajjat Omar Anuna, said demonstration would not solve the problem.