Not even the rain-laden skies over Kibuli hill in Kampala could deter mourners who thronged Kibuli Mosque to listen to glowing eulogies to the legacy of Sheikh Ahmed Mukasa, a former Mufti of Uganda.
Sheikh Mukasa, 83, died of pneumonia yesterday at Bwebajja on Entebbe Road where he has been undergoing treatment for a year.
Prince Kassim Nakibinge Kakungulu, the titular head of Kibuli Muslim community, said Sheikh Mukasa should be emulated by leaders, especially on how to hand over power peacefully.
“When he was told he was no longer the Mufti, he just handed over … power to another person. It is a challenge he has left us with. It is what other leaders should learn from him,” Prince Nakibinge said yesterday.
In 2000, Sheikh Mukasa handed over leadership of the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) to Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubaje after seven years of leadership wrangles among the country’s Muslim clerics.
Since the hand over 18 years ago, there has not been any transaction in the UMSC leadership.
Prince Nakibinge added that Sheikh Mukasa was a God-fearing man, which made him leave a corrupt-free track record in his public service as a teacher, Muslim leader, and an administrator.
President Museveni, in his eulogy read by the State minister for Micro-finance, Mr Haruna Kasolo, described Sheikh Mukasa as an NRM party cadre, who has worked for his government for a very long time. Mr Museveni offered Shs10m to the relatives to facilitate the funeral arrangements.
Most UMSC leaders attended the Kibuli prayers, except with the visible absence of Mufti Mubaje, who was said to be attending to his sick brother upcountry.
Hajj Nsereko Mutumba said the deceased abhorred infighting, especially among Muslim leaders.
By the time of his death, Sheikh Mukasa was opposed to the leadership of UMSC, which he accused of parceling out Muslim property.
In an interview with Daily Monitor in 2012, Sheikh Mukasa said: “He [Mubaje] behaves like an NRM cadre. It’s Museveni who is keeping him there. But once we agree with President Museveni, Mubaje will be gone.”
Sheikh Mukasa’s son, Dr Umar Kasule, said the deceased left behind several widows and 50 plus children. “He had many children and educated everyone,” Dr Kasule said.
Sheikh Mukasa was buried in Mende, Wakiso District.