By Ahmed Kateregga Musaazi
One day, my mother, Hadija Nankya, in the bushes of Nnambiriizi village in Mawogola County now Ssembabule was heard crying.
Then his paternal uncle in law, Sheikh Haji Zaid Kateregga Mugenyasooka shouted that “Has Musaazi been eaten by a leopard?” His brother, Zuli Arabi Idi Dungu Mukasa Kimera, my mother’s father in -law jokingly affirmed that “Yes it has eaten him.”
Then the sheikh came running to the scene. My mother’s eyes had been spat on by a cobra, but l, the baby Musaazi, the sheikh had feared had had been eaten by the leopard was safe. A man called Kalisiti, came got some leaves chewed them and spat on the face of the mother, and the eyes opened. By then there was a lot of wild life in Mawogola and lions could be heard roaring in the night and leopards and hyenas used to feast on our goats and sheep we were rearing. My mother was returning home from Sheikh Mugenyasooka’s residence.
Today, June 1st 2021, is 27 years ever since Sheikh Zaid Mugenyasooka passed on at the then Kibuli Nursing Home now Kibuli Muslim Hospital in the morning and was buried in the afternoon at Bukoto mosque. He was President General of Africa Muslim Community Juma Sect Bukoto Nateete from 1948 up to his death and Regional Qadhi, Buganda Region under Uganda Muslim Supreme Council, from 1972 to 1974.
Apart from the spiritual role, Sheikh Mugenyasooka was also an active supporter of the Democratic Party from 1956 up to his death and was the first Muslim to embrace DP. He was close to the late DP President General, Ben Kiwanuka, who was his personal and family lawyer, and the lawyer of AMC Juma Sect Bukoto Nateete. There will be duwa for him at his home at Ng’ando in Butambala District on Monday June 1st.
Sheikh Mugenyasooka was born in 1900. His father was Asuman Mawanda Gunsiiriza Tabula. A “Mujungute”, the Muslim warriors that sought refugee under a Muslim Kabaka, Nuuhu Kalema at Kijungute in now Kyankwanzi District, after the Muslim had been defeated by a joint force of Christians and Traditionalists and Kabaka Mwanga was installed the third time on his throne.
By the time Capt., Fredrick Lugard of Imperial British East Africa Company arrived at Kampala hill now Old Kampala, in December 1890, Kabaka Kalema had passed on and Muslims under prince Nuuhu Kyabasinga Mbogo, the grandfather of Prince Kassim Nakibinge Kakungulu, were still a threat. He negotiated for their return and settled in Butambala, Gomba and Busujju, and after a Nubian mutiny, lost Busujju and Gomba and were all squeezed in Butambala. Asuman Mawanda settled at Bukesa in Ngando Sub County.
He was the first Muslim convert in the family, together with his brother Bumbalakali Semyano, buried at Gombe, in Butambala, and before religious wars, lived at Kisawo near Lukaya in Buddu whose father was Luzige, whose father was Gubya. Gubya’s brother Diba had fathered Makaato, shoes son Nyansi Byulenzi Kasajja embraced Roman Catholicism and was a page at Kabaka Mwanga’s palace and was one the forces that captured Mawogola from Mwanga loyalists and was appointed one of the administrators and after Buganda Agreement of 1900, was given a Mailo estate at Nnambiriizi. He had been in the Christian army in Kabula, then in Ankole, that drove away Muslims from the capital. They were under Kateregga Luguma lineage in Buddu.
Mugenyasooka started Islamic religion at a tender age under different tutors including Sheikh Semawempe, and went to Kyowe in Entebbe where they had different tutors and when Sheikh Abdullah Muikasa Ssekimwanyi, the first Ugandan Muslim to perform holy pilgrimage to Mecca, broke away from Kibuli in 1921, Mugenyasooka was his secretary, and upon his death, and his successor Sheikh Nsambu reconciled with Kibuli, Mugeyasooka , who had accompanied Ssekimwanyi, at his last pilgrimage, was named a caretaker President General but steered the sect up to his death.
He is remembered to have trained many sheikhs including his own sons; Haruna Suuna, now Vice President General, the late Muhammad Bulemezi Kateregga and Asumani Mawanda working with Uganda Revenue Authority, his late nephew who was my father, Sheikh Abbaas Kimera who was Masaka District Imam, etc…
He steered the board of trustees that oversaw the sect’s property including for square miles that were allocated to it and Juma and Zukuri Sect was allocated six square miles, and such land include 80 acres at Bukyolo in Masaka that were grabbed but reclaimable. Others were leased to other Muslim sects like Aga Khan Foundation where there is Aga Khan School, Clock Tower that was leased to Uganda Sunni Muslim Association. Schools like Nabisunsa Girls School, Kitagobwa primary and secondary schools and Butawuka primary and secondary schools in Butambala, Kadduggala primary and secondary schools in Kalungu, and Kabukunge primary and secondary schools and Primary Teacher’s College in Kalungu, Mbuulire and secondary schools in Bukomansimbi, Katimba and Nnambiriizi primary schools are on that land. He built Bukesa Islamic Primary School in Butambala and Nnambiriizi Primary School in Mawogola. Such are Uganda’s traditional sheikhs who never went to Islamic theological colleges, but had been groomed by their tutors, that kept Muslim property intact, compared to the university graduates. Even where they had differences, they were ideological but not opportunistic as it is the case now. At a Mauled at Kibuli in 1989, attended by President Yoweri Museveni and President Kenneth Kauda of Zambia, Chief Qadhi of Uganda Sheikh Hussein Rajab Kakooza introduced Mugenyasooka, and Museveni said “l know him, he works for Islam but not his stomach.” Dr. Kaunda and Dr. Paul Kawanga Ssemogerere, who was Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister also nodded in affirmation. Inna Lillaahi wa inna ilaihi raj’una.
Haji Ahmed Kateregga Musaazi is a veteran journalist and a Communications Assistant with the Digital Team under Ministry of ICT and National Guidance.
Do you want to share a story, comment or opinion regarding this story or others, Email us at email@example.com Tel/WhatsApp........0726054858