Confusion is reigning high at Mbale Jamia Mosque in Vihiga county as leaders from two Muslim organisations go for each other’s throat in the management of the religious institution.
Waqf properties are at the centre of wrangles between two Muslim organisations Vihiga Muslim Association and a local Supkem official who are fighting for control over the properties at the Mbale Jamia mosque in Vihiga county.
One faction revolves around Vihiga county Supkem chairman Zubeir Shogobe. It is said that Idd Lwoya the Vihiga Muslim Association patron and Khalid Khamis the Mbale Jamia Mosque secretary general are in another camp that is jostling for leadership.
The Shogobe camp was recently implicated in corruption and pocketing of millions of shillings from endowment properties belonging to Muslim community.
Vihiga Muslim Association is accusing Supkem county chairman of overstepping his mandate and meddling in the affairs of the Waqf properties that belongs to Mbale Jamia Mosque.
Shogobe who is also the former Vihiga mayor is being accused of grabbing of Waqf properties belonging to the Muslim community and failure to remit the much needed proceeds and revenues from Waqf properties to support the running of Mbale Jamia Mosque and its institutions.
While the properties are supposed to generate income to support the activities of Muslims, the Muslim Association is accusing the Supkem county chairman of turning the Waqf into his personal property, denying the institution the much needed revenue to run the mosque.
Shogobe is also being accused of interfering with the affairs of two Muslim sponsored schools – Idavaga Muslim Secondary School and Boyusuf Secondary School respectively by singlehandedly nominating sponsors to sit on the boards of the two schools ignoring the fact that the two institutions belong to Mbale Jamia Mosque Committee and Lunyerere Jamia Mosque committee.
Since the two schools were founded by Mbale Jamia Mosque committee and Lunyerere Jamia Mosque committee respectively, the two mosques are mandated to manage and run the affairs of the institutions and have powers vetted on them to nominate individuals from the Muslim community to sit on the school’s boards.
The Muslim association has lodged complaints with the Supkem and has asked Supkem head office to call for fresh election on grounds that Shogobe who was elected in 2017 as Supkem chairman has failed the integrity test by engaging in graft and that he is not fit for the Muslim leadership.
Reacting to the allegations, Shogobe refuted claims that he had fraudulently taken Waqf properties and interfered with the affairs of Muslim schools and instead pointed an accusing finger at individuals who he said had encroached on lands belonging to Mbale Jamia Mosque and Idavaga Muslim Secondary.
Shogobe who is the former chairman of Mbale Jamia Mosque committee was particularly incensed by the faction accusing him, stressing that during his tenure at Mbale Jamia Mosque, he served with decorum before being bestowed to serve at the Supkem county office which he serves to today as chairman.
The position, he argued, was due to his “good character and reputation among Muslims”.He said that if anyone had anything against him, then that person should go to the court of law adding: “There are laid down procedures in the constitution of the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims on how disciplinary action can be effected.”
The Mbale Jamia Mosque has for several years, been embroiled in a tug-of-war characterised by disputes which have spiraled their way to the corridors of justice in the court of law.