The imam of Kyampisi Masjid Noor mosque in Kayunga District of Uganda, Mohammed Mutumba, has been suspended after the cleric reportedly wedded Richard Tumushabe, a fellow man in Islamic culture (Nikah).
According to Uganda’s Daily Monitor, the embattled cleric’s ordeal kick-started after he tied the knot with a fellow man, “unaware” of his supposed “wife’s gender”.
Before their wedding, Tumushabe identified himself as Swabullah Nabukeera, a feminine name, to douse any suspicion.
Two weeks after their union, the truth concerning Tumushabe’s real gender surfaced after he was subjected to a body search by a female police officer — where his identity was eventually revealed in the cell.
It was gathered that he gave his real name during interrogation.
The regional Kadhi, Abdul Noor Kakande, described the incident as “unfortunate”, adding that the 27-year-old is currently being probed.
Backing Mutumba’s suspension, Isa Busuulwa, the head imam of Masjid Noor of Kyampisi, explained that the move became imperative to avoid bringing the integrity of their faith into disrepute.
“He has been one of the three Imams of the mosque. He had spent about four years preaching in this mosque on top of teaching Islam to children,” he said.
Commenting on the development, Amisi Kibunga, the Kyampisi mosque Bilal, said he had previously seen Tumushabe acting as Mutumba’s “wife” on two occasions during Juma prayers — unknowing that he was actually a man.
“He had a sweet soft voice and walked like a woman. She also always dressed in either gomesi or hijab,” he said.
“Four days after their wedding, the bridegroom came to me complaining that ‘her’ bride had refused to undress while they slept. Actually I was planning to go to their home to counsel ‘her’ when I heard that the bride had been arrested in connection with the theft of a television set and clothes of their neighbour.”
The chairperson of Namagabi Muslim country, Mohammed Ssemambo, also condemned the development, blaming the suspended leader for not following Islamic tenets in getting a wife.
“I learnt about the incident. As a Muslim leader, he should have followed what the Koran says when one wants to get a spouse,” he said.