The council of eminent Sheikhs at the Kibuli-based Muslim administration has started searching for the next Supreme Mufti after Sheikh Siliman Ndirangwa announced his resignation from the position on Thursday, April 01.
Sheik Ndirangwa quit unexpectedly, saying it was good for Islam because he didn’t want to have a tug-of-war with his superiors.
Now the head of the Shariah department at the Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU), Dr Abdul Hafiz Walusimbi and the president general of Juma-Zukuuli Muslim sect, Sheikh Muhammad Lunanoba, are being tipped to replace him.
Sheikh Abdul-Noor Kakande, the district Kadhi of Mukono-Kayunga, is another frontrunner to succeed Ndirangwa.
These frontrunners have the ear of Prince Kassim Nakibinge, who calls the shots at the Kibuli-based Muslim administration.
However, sources say, Dr Walusimbi, who is also the dean of the faculty of Islamic Studies and Arabic Language at IUIU, is a young well-qualified Sheikh to head the administration and make it more professional.
“Walusimbi is a fluent speaker and writer on both religious and secular subjects and this gives him an edge on Lunanoba and Kakande or even Sheikh Mahmood Kibaate, the acting Supreme Mufti,” a prominent Muslim in the city, said.
He noted that for a long time they have been led by individuals who lack administrative skills and whose major academic qualifications are in Arabic language or Islamic studies.
Walusimbi has a PhD in Islamic law with qualifications in education, project management, Islamic banking and finance.
His work experience started as a secondary school teacher and progressed as a university lecturer since 2004.
He is also the director of Al-Haq Shariah Consultancy and Advisory Bureau which deals in research, consultancy and advocacy in Islamic banking, Muslim personal law, and comparative human rights and international humanitarian law.
Walusimbi was instrumental in the establishment of the Shariah course at Islamic University Kampala Campus and is one of the key players in advocacy against gender-based violence and interfaith tolerance through public presentations and preaching.