Police has Sunday arrested 14 suspects for attempting to block Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) from taking over Masjid Noor also known as William Street Mosque.
This followed a heavy security deployment at the mosque on Sunday.
Police spokesperson, CP Fred Enanga, would later reveal to this news website that the teams were at the mosque to oversee its takeover by UMSC, whom he said the current rightful owners of the mosque.
“We are overseeing the handover of the mosque and property to the UMSC, after it was reclaimed by government. The previous buyers were compensated and their claim over the property relinquished,” said the Police spokesperson.
He noted that UMSC forthwith takes over the management of the mosque on behalf of the Muslim Community.
However, in a statement on Sunday afternoon, Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson, SP Patrick Onyango, said while witnessing the takeover of the mosque, some individuals who have since been arrested, were obstructing the process.
“We have arrested 14 suspects who were resisting the take over of the properties by Uganda Muslim Supreme Council. They have been detained in various police stations within Kampala Metropolitan Police,” notes SP Onyango.
He says all the suspects will be charged with various offences but not limited to obstruction, threatening violence, criminal trespass and embezzlement.
The Mosque has for a couple of years been a centre of wrangles between Tabliq Muslims based in Nakasero and Uganda Muslim Supreme Council from Old Kampala Mosque who accuse each other of mismanaging rent remittances.
According to Onyango, the Mosque and the tenants who have been operating from the properties will not be affected.
He says they will continue to pay their obligations to the new Management (Uganda Muslim Supreme Council).
Nakasero has been blaming the chaos on UMSC accusing them of deviating from the agreement that was reached between the two parties in the presence of President Museveni at State House in 2016.
The President bought back the land title that had been sold to city businessman, Drake Lubega and resolved that the land title was to be in the custodian of Solicitor General, Francis Atwoke and a neutral account be created for rent collections, something that was done and all the rent collection would be deposited on this account.
The agreement was that the money was to be shared after we have reached consensus but Nakasero in January 2018 said they were surprised that the money had instead been deposited on Masjid Noor Muslim Community account that is only accessed by UMSC.
Muslim shops at William Street, according to Nakasero Muslim leadership, earn over Shs90m monthly totaling to Shs1.08b annually.