News From Across the Continent – August 2010

Kenya: Muslims Seek Inclusion in Cabinet Law Action Team
On August 21, 2010, Muslims have joined calls for inclusion of their representatives in a Cabinet committee that will supervise the implementation of the new Constitution.

Supreme Council of Kenya secretary general Adan Wachu says the community feels discriminated against following failure by President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to include a minister of Muslim faith in the committee.

The team was formed during a Cabinet meeting last week and is headed by President Kibaki and Mr Odinga. Other members are Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, Deputy Prime Ministers Uhuru Kenyatta and Musalia Mudavadi and ministers Mutula Kilonzo, Sally Kosgei and Beth Mugo.

Others are Mr Kiraitu Murungi, Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o, Ms Esther Murugi, Mrs Charity Ngilu, Mr James Orengo, Prof George Saitoti, Mr Moses Wetang’ula and Attorney- General Amos Wako.

Speaking to the Nation by phone, Mr Wachu said at least one of the Muslim ministers should have been included in the team to ensure their interests including the kadhis courts were addressed.

“Now who will spearhead our issues in the team. Our members are calling us asking what went wrong. Muslims overwhelmingly voted for the new constitution and form a good percentage of Kenyan population which warrants their inclusion in decision making organs,” Mr Wachu asked.

He said the implementation of new constitution as a crucial process that requires inclusion of all Kenyans.

Mr Wachu also took issue with recent confirmation of a new Kenya Ports Authority managing director saying it did not reflect Coast community interests.

On August 15, 2010, members of the Coast Parliamentary Group also protested at the failure to include ministers from their region in the committee to oversee implementation the new Constitution.

They said the team’s composition undermined the principle of equal representation enshrined in the new laws.

There are four ministers in the Cabinet from the Coast region: Mr Najib Balala (Tourism), Dr Naomi Shaban (Gender), Mr Amason Kingi (Fisheries) and Mr Chirau Mwakwere (Trade).

“We remind the President and the Prime Minister that Coast Province delivered 70 per cent for the ‘Yes’ vote for the new Constitution. We have said very clearly that regional and ethnic balancing should be everywhere,” said Mr Danson Mungatana (Garsen, PNU).

Mr Balala was admitted to Nairobi Hospital at the time of August 20, 2010’s Cabinet meeting, after which the 16-member team was named.

Dr Shaban is among ministers who campaigned against the new Constitution and who were subsequently left out of the Cabinet team.

Mr Mwakwere recently made his return to the Cabinet after his re-election and, with Mr Kingi, also campaigned for the ratification of the Constitution.

See on-line at: http://allafrica.com/stories/201008230419.html

Nigeria: Thirteen Injured as Islamic Sects Clash in Ibadan

On August 22, 2010, thirteen people were injured while houses and mosques were vandalised in an inter-Islamic sects combustion in Sabo area of Ibadan over the control of the Sabo area between the Izalla and the Darikat Islamic sects.

By the time the skirmish subsided, blood stains and carcasses of vandalized buildings littered the area as weapons wielding youths patrolled the area, in search of rival sect members to attack.

But for the combined efforts of the State Police Command, the crisis would have escalated to the entire community as shop owners in the area and other residents in the Hausa Community hurriedly shut their doors with numerous others fleeing the area for fear of reprisal attack.

Speaking with newsmen on the development, the Sarkin Sabo, Alhaji Ahmed Zungeru who described the incident as unfortunate blamed the Izala sect leaders and their visitor from Jos, Plateau State, Mallam Kalid Usman as the brain behind the imbroglio, saying his preaching had always contradict what the Islamic religion teaches.

The efforts of the anti-riot police officers who mount surveillance in company of the Armourd Personnel Carrier (APC) saved the day as normalcy returns to the community two hours after the ugly incidence lasted.

Aside the injuries sustained mainly by Izala group members, their three identified mosques in the area were vandalized by their rival sect members while four vehicles packed beside their mosque were equally not spared as the irate ‘extremists’ smashed the windscreen of two sport utility vehicles and two others.

Those injured in the fracas were rushed to nearby hospital while others with minor injuries were seen been treated by their colleagues with the first aid materials at their disposal.

The Sarkin claimed that when he saw the rampaging youths heading to Izala’s place he stopped them and appealed for calm but when he sensed that his pleas was falling on deaf ears, he had to personally approached the Divisional Police Office at Iyaganku for them to send their men to quell the matter.

But one of the Izala leaders, Alhaji Abubakar Saliu Tanko passed the blame on the leadership of the Hausa community, describing the Sarkin’s allegation as unfounded.

According to him, the invasion of their ‘lawful gathering’ allegedly by Sarkin himself, his chiefs and the youths was a ploy to phase out their activities in the area.

Tanko said the attack on his group by the Tijaniya/Adriyah was a fallout of the August 16’s a judgment of an Ibadan based Magistrate sitting at Iyaganku, where the judge ruled that none of the two groups had always been at each others’ throat over their preaching to stop using Loudspeaker while the service was on so as to avoid what anything that may cause crisis.

When asked if the two sects complied, Tanko alleged that the Tijaniyah group who were obviously the majority in the area had not complied while they (the Izala) had obeyed the judgment and were conducting their service peacefully when the ‘assailants’ invaded their gathering, caught them unaware and wounded them with dangerous weapons.

See on-line at: http://allafrica.com/stories/201008230263.html

Rwanda: Muslims Pledge Massive Support for RPF Candidate

On August 6, 2010, the Muslim community pledged to massively support the RPF candidate, Paul Kagame, saying that his government has, over the last seven years, accorded visibility and genuine recognition to their religion.

The pledge was made in Nyamirambo, a predominantly Muslim neighborhood, where the candidate held his third rally of the day.

Kagame had earlier campaigned in the Eastern Province districts of Rwamagana and Kayonza.

About 70,000 people braved a scorching sun, as they sang and danced waiting for the RPF candidate who arrived at around 4:25 p.m.

At the rally, Muslim women and men showed their support, adding a flavor of Arabic and Swahili to their songs, as they praised the RPF and Kagame.

Addressing the mammoth crowd, Kagame said that he, together with the Rwandan people will work to build a new Rwanda. He went on to say that Kigali City is fortunate to have residents like the people of Nyamirambo.

The candidate pointed out that what the new Rwanda needs is; peace, good governance, education and citizens with good health. He noted that these are the key elements that define democracy, adding that the RPF does not practice discriminatory politics.

Amidst loud cheers, Kagame asked those who claim that there is no democracy in Rwanda to come, and witness the massive turnout at campaign rallies that are characterized by excitement. He emphasized that democracy is about the majority of the people making the right choice.

The candidate, criticized sections of the western media for refusing to cover the massive rallies that speak volumes about what the Rwandan people want.

Kagame, went on to say that he is ready to struggle for the pride of his people, democracy and the development of the nation. The candidate added that nobody will ever manipulate Rwanda and that he will never stop speaking for Rwandans. He urged the people to clearly articulate their wishes so that the international community does not second-guess them.

After the rally, Kagame walked through the Nyamirambo neighborhood interacting with his supporters.

In one of the testimonies that were given at the rally, a Muslim lady said that the RPF leadership in the past seven years gave her family opportunities in education and a good life.

“I am a mother of 11, I have every reason to praise Kagame because, before he came to power, my children did not have a chance of making it beyond primary six, now my last born is finalizing senior six, I have two children at the university while others have graduated and are working,” she said.

See on-line at: http://allafrica.com/stories/201008100007.html 

Sierra Leone: Leadership Wahala at Temne Central Mosque

In August 2010, the Temne central mosque is under fire as the elders battle over the position of Chief Imam.

According to sources, some elders within the mosque are engaged in some corrupt activities and that the executive is divided on political grounds. It is said that since the death of the late Chief Imam, Alhaji Ibrahim Kargbo some 2 years ago, there has been no unity among elders as well as youths within the Jamiul-Jalil mosque.

Former speaker of the mosque, name withheld, said there is a written constitution that governs the administration of the mosque. He said the constitution makes provision for the deputy Imam to replace the Chief Imam on his death for ninety days before election could be held.

Isatu Kamara, a concern member of the jamaat, expressed her grief saying, “it is really painful to see people who are preaching about faith and peace in Islam at the same going around misleading people to doing the wrong things. It will be better to maintain peace and unity in the mosque rather than fighting each other”.

Meanwhile, the acting Chief Imam Alhaji Ibrahim Kamara said Islam is a peaceful religion and appealed to members to deviate from acts that would dent the image of the mosque.

See on-line at: http://allafrica.com/stories/201008130803.html

Uganda: Muslim Leader Wanted for Rape
The Police in Jinja District are hunting for a Muslim leader for allegedly defiling an 11-year-old girl, his wife’s niece.

Sheikh Jamali Mugoya, the assistant imam of Wanyange Hill Mosque, is said to have defiled the child on August 19, in the morning after his wife left for business. The wife normally leaves their house in Wanyange central village at about 5:00am to go and collect fish for selling from Wanyange landing site.

The girl told area local council officials and the Police that after her auntie had left, her uncle called her to his bedroom, removed her clothes and defiled her. Ivan Kimalyo, the Jinja CID officer, said the matter was under investigation, adding that Mugoya was still on the run.

See on-line at: http://allafrica.com/stories/201008230706.html

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