Even before court decides whether the Mufti, Shaban Mubajje,
is guilty of fraud, the man who bought the contested Muslim
property wants to pull out of the deal.
Drake Lubega, the businessman to whom Mubajje sold the
controversial Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) land
on plot 30 William Street has offered to sell back the land
to the Muslim body.
But UMSC will not hear of it.
Lubega, through his lawyers Semuyaba, Iga and Co. Advocates
wrote on April 23, 2008, asking the UMSC to buy back the
But Saidi Iga Bukenya, one of the lawyers in the law firm,
says that the UMSC refused to receive the letter containing
The same letter is also asking any interested party in
the Muslim community to buy Lubega out within six months,
before the offer is made to the general public.
“Our client has carefully considered the prevailing
circumstances and the various interests within the Muslim
community and has painfully decided to offer you or any
other interested party to buy him out,” the letter
read in part.
The letter acknowledges that Drake Lubega is the registered
proprietor and owner of Plot 30 William Street, which houses
a mosque among other things.
The letter also acknowledges that Lubega bought the property
from HAKS Express Ltd. of businessman Hassan Basajjabalaba,
who is jointly accused with Mubajje and Dr. Edris Kasenene.
“Our client genuinely purchased the property from
a willing vendor and he was not aware at the time of any
other interest. He was only interested in doing business
and not antagonising the Muslim community,” Lubega’s
Sheikh Mubajje and Dr. Edris Kasenene are jointly accused
of illegally selling UMSC property, including plots 102
and 30 on William Street, and plot 12-16 on Port Bell road
It is alleged that Basajjabalaba later sold the plots to
businessman, Drake Lubega. The trio are charged with fraud
and last month the Buganda Road Chief Magistrate, Margaret
Tibulya, announced that they had a case to answer.
Two months ago, the anti- Mubajje group in the Muslim community
held a meeting in Nakasero in which they agreed to talk
to the top Catholic leadership to persuade Lubega out of
According to a top Muslim leader who spoke to The Weekly
Observer on condition of anonymity, the meeting agreed to
seek audience with Emmanuel Cardinal Wamala and Archbishop
Cyprian Kizito Lwanga.
“We have established that Drake Lubega is a Catholic.
We want to report to them that one of their followers has
provocatively bought a Muslim building which also houses
a mosque. The demolition of the mosque might ignite a religious
war in Uganda,” he said.
Sheikhs Nuhu Muzaata, Hassan Kirya and Ismail Mugomba,
some of those bitterly opposed to Mubajje’s leadership,
reportedly attended this meeting.
However, the letter is silent about what Lubega intends
to do with the other properties he bought from HAKS Express
These are Plot 102/104 on William Street and Plots 12-16
on Port Bell road.
His lawyer confirmed that Lubega was only selling plot 30
on William Street.
Mubajje in court
Meanwhile, Sheikh Mubajje and his co-accused are back in
court this week to answer charges of fraudulent disposal
of trustee property, making documents without authority
and conspiracy to commit a felony.
According to legal sources, Sheikh Mubajje might not take
the stand to defend himself. The source says he prefers
court to decide the case based on evidence adduced by the
prosecution. Meanwhile, the anti-Mubajje group have begun
circulating Lubega’s letter as proof that the Mufti
sold UMSC land which Lubega now wants to sell back to Muslims