By Mbarak Abucheri:
Muslim organizations in the country have been urged to identify and work with young Muslims in the various areas to nurture and mentor them to be effective and responsible leaders.
This call was made by the Upper Western Kadhi Sheikh Shaaban Issa Muhammad while addressing Muslim faithful at Kakamega Jamia Mosque and Islamic centre on Friday, where he noted that the Muslim community need qualified and disciplined leaders to take up leadership positions in order to expedite development programmes for socio-economic progress.
Sheikh Shaaban advised Muslim organizations to utilize their time, resources and energy to support the capacity building and training of youth in order to improve their skills, nurture and usher them in leadership for efficiency and progress.
He added that the leadership training programs for young people will inspire them to be active and play a positive role in improving their communities.
Sheikh Shaaban pointed out that many Muslim institutions were experiencing inefficiencies in their management because of poor leadership and added that it was high time leaders improved on their leadership skills through capacity building to effectively serve the community.
He said that the training program will enable the youth in the community to become influential in their surroundings through providing them skills and tools that increase the quality and efficiency of their personal life management, their mental quality, and behavioral habits.
At the same time Kadhi Shaaban called on the Muslim leadership at Kakamega Jamia Mosque and Islamic Centre to embrace dialogue and resort to dispute resolution mechanisms as a mean of solving differences so as to nurture unity in the local communities.
Kakamega Jamia Mosque and Islamic centre is currently experiencing leadership row that culminated in the postponement of elections of new officials that were to be held last week after a disgruntled group went to court to block the elections from taking off citing irregularities where a contestant was disqualified from contesting
It was claimed that the aspirant was removed from the ballot because he was not a resident of Kakamega Municipality as the constitution states very clearly that for any aspirant to vie for a leadership position, he or she MUST be a member and resident of the Municipality.
The judicial officer pointed out that the current state of affairs where there is mistrust and lack of tolerance among Muslims from different communities is uncalled for, adding that in the Noble Quran and the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h), Muslims have been warned against dividing themselves along tribal lines.
”It is unfortunate that Muslims are grouping themselves into factions and referring to themselves as Luhya Muslims. Somali Muslims and Arab Muslims. This should not be the case and we will not achieve development, strength and victory when we are divided along tribal lines but by through unity and being practicing Muslims,” he stressed.
As a recipe for ending the perennial leadership wrangles at the Kakamega Jamia Mosque, he said there is need for the current leadership to embrace dialogue, appreciate, accommodate and tolerate ethnic diversity through inclusive representation in the mosque committees.
Sheikh Shaaban further decried the tendency of leaders refusing to surrender leadership positions and perennial leadership wrangles among local Muslim leaders saying the trend is hindering social-economic development of the community.
He added as senior community leaders, it was importance for them to lead by example through embracing teamwork in order to bring about unity and development for the benefit of Muslims.
While calling for unity and tolerance among local Muslims and leaders, the Kadhi appealed to the warring Muslim leaders to reconcile, basing on the teachings of the Noble Quran, shun tribalism and hatred in order to pave way for the development of the Muslim community in the region.