Muslims tell govt to end corruption

Muslims pray at Nakivubo Stadium during Idd-al-Adhuha celebrations in Kampala om June 16, 2024. PHOTO/ISAAC KASAMANI

What you need to know:

  • The clerics emphasised the need for peaceful co-existance, forgiveness, and tolerance.


Muslims countrywide yesterday thronged various mosques to mark Idd-al-Adhuha, with a call on the government to end corruption.

The clerics called for peace, forgiveness and condemned violence.

In insecure areas, the clerics called upon the government to take charge and guarantee the safety of Ugandans.

At Kibuli Mosque, Sheikh Hamidu Tamusuza, a guest speaker from Butambala District, condemned what he called the glaring cases of corruption, which he said continue to enrich a few greedy individuals at the expense of service delivery to the citizens.

“Corruption remains a vice that affects service delivery. It is unfortunate that the funds supposed to benefit all Ugandans end up in the pockets of the corrupt,’’ said Sheikh Tamusuza.

“We must find a permanent solution to this problem,” Sheikh Tamusuza added.

In Gulu City, where prayers were held at Gulu Public Primary School, the Muslim leaders under the Jamiah Mosque, said people in key positions should live a life equivalent to those around them, share with others, and stop embezzlement of public resources.

Sheikh Mahmood Ali, the sheikh for Gulu and Omoro, said with the rampant corruption, people are deprived of basic needs.

“We have people who cannot afford even a meal in a day, who cannot afford to put on a nice dress, but they are all people we lead. We should think about them,’’ Sheikh Ali said.

He added: “If we are amassing wealth through corruption and are forgetting about others, let us think about one thing: that we are all going to die and leave everything here.

“So, there is no reason why you should amass wealth through corruption and live a life that is not equivalent to the people around you and expect that you will go with it to your grave.’’

Sheikh Muzamil Ismael Mandela, the Acholi Muslim District khadhi, emphasised the need for peaceful co-existance, forgiveness, and tolerance for community development, adding that these cut across every aspect of life, including families, communities, and workplaces.

“If you are not tolerant, that family can never survive. That is where we start exercising tolerance and peace,’’ he said.

The clerics also called upon all Muslims to celebrate as per the Sharia (law) and guard against alcoholism and indecency. 

At the Jamiah Mosque, at least 25 cattle were slaughtered.

In Jinja City, Sheikh Ziyadi Lubanga, the director of Sharia at the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC), said corruption is prohibited in Islamic teaching and is punishable.

“Muslim teachings tell people to fight the vice of corruption, which is not allowed in the faith and those who engage in it are given strong punishment before Allah because it is not what the Muslim faith teaches,” Sheikh Lubanga said at Hajj Tarmac Muslim prayer ground in Jinja City South Division.

He noted that corruption hinders development in the country and urged Muslims to fight it.

The call against graft by the clerics comes at the time when three MPs have been charged with corruption following President Museveni’s attack on what he called syndicate corruption by MPs and Finance ministry officials who distort budget allocations.

The MPs under probe include Yusuf Mutembuli (Bunyole East, Butaleja District), Cissy Namujju Dionizza (District Woman representative of Lwengo) and Paul Akamba (Busiki County, Namutumba District).

Prosecution alleges that the trio solicited a 20 percent share of the anticipated budget of the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) for the financial year 2024/2025 from Ms Mariam Wangadya, the chairperson of UHRC, on May 13 in Kampala.

Tororo

Elsewhere, at Tororo main mosque, the acting deputy of Tororo District Khadhi, Sheikh Malik Nuhu Koire, appealed for unity among the Muslim community and decried what he described as “sharp divisions” among the Muslims since the former District Khadhi, Sheikh Ibrahim Yusuf Asante, was censured.

“What you have to understand is that in any community, there must be one leader and where there is a leader, respect must be accorded to him or her. Therefore, you Muslims of Tororo, irrespective of the disagreement, unity takes precedence,” he said.

In Mbale City, at Islamic University in Uganda where hundreds of Muslims gathered, they were urged to take care of the poor.

In Yumbe District, the chairperson of Barakala Town Council, Mr Rasul Ijoga Mawa, reminded parents and the Muslim congregation gathered at Barakala Mosque to send their children back to school after the celebrations, saying, parents in the area have a negative attitude towards education.

“I want to remind you (the parents) that Idd-al-Adhuha celebration is only for today (Sunday) and there is no extension of the celebrations; so, from Monday, lessons will resume,” he said.

In Nebbi, the district police commander, Mr Amisi Kayondo, called upon Muslims to adhere to the Iddi-al-Adhuha messages of love, peace and forgiveness to promote the wellbeing of each other.

In Moyo District, the LC5 chairperson, Mr Williams Anyama, urged the Muslim community to embrace education as one of the pillars in socio-economic development.

In the Teso Sub-region, the Teso Muslim District Khadhi, Sheikh Asuman Muhammad Ocen, called upon Muslims to focus on taking their children to school.

While presiding over Idd-aI-Adhuha celebrations at the Soroti Stadium, he said Muslims are still lagging behind because of lack of education. He also asked the faithful to desist from disunity and focus on development, saying fights will always bring them down.

In Kampala, the Mufti of Uganda Sheikh Shaban Mubajje in his message at Old Kampala Mosque, asked the Muslims to be law-abiding citizens and avoid acts that cause insecurity and bloodshed.

“Islam is a religion of peace, so let us uphold the peace. Let us show peace by example beginning with ourselves as Muslims...” Sheikh Mubajje said.

He further encouraged the Muslims to support government programmes, especially those geared towards socio-economic transformation except those that may violate the norms of Islam.

Sheikh Mubajje also raised concern about the insecurity happening in areas like Sudan, Palestine, and Gaza, among others, and called the heads of government to come out clearly on what human rights and freedom mean.

Kabale 

In Kabale, the district Khadi Sheikh Kabu Lule warned the faithful at Kirigime Mosque against criminal acts. 

"As we celebrate Id-alAdhuha, let us all remember to slaughter the recommended animals as we demonstrate our sacrifice before Allah; do not wait for donations from abroad," he added.

He also warned muslims against despising jobs, urging them to work hard. 

Islamic banking

Prince Kassim Nakibinge, the titular head of the Kibuli-based Muslim faction, asked Muslims to embrace Islamic banking and urged them to study how it works.

Commenting on the ongoing evictions in wetlands by the National Environment Management Authority (Nema), Prince Nakibinge urged Nema to stop applying double standards when evicting encroachers.

He said some encroachers such as factories have not been evicted in the ongoing exercise.

“They [Nema] should demarcate all wetlands to avoid encroachment. They should also give encroachers ample time to vacate the wetlands rather than deploy bulldozers to evict children,” Price Nakibinge said.

He welcomed the recent appointment of Abbas Byakagaba as the Inspector General of Police, saying much as he is their own, he has an uphill task to rid the city of criminals who are openly beating Ugandans on the streets and robbing them in broad daylight.

At Nakivubo Blue Primary School in Kampala, the director of Dawa at Nakasero Mosque, Sheikh Habib Abudah, called for unity among Muslims as a weapon to defend their religion. 

He also urged the faithful to stop engaging in acts that put their lives in jeopardy.

“Let’s avoid disunity among the Muslims because it’s not taking us anywhere, and I ask you to use this day to promote peace and unity,” he stressed.

Sheikh Abudah also asked the Muslim community to advocate for policies that alleviate poverty in their respective homesteads.

Muslims at Ahamidaya Wandegeya Mosque were advised to get the meaning of sacrificing animals and put it into action other than focusing on food and wearing fancy clothes.

*Compiled by Philip Wafula, Denis Edema, Sam Caleb Opio, Rashul Adidi, Felix Warom, Patrick Okaba, Robert Elema, Scovin Iceta, Emmy Daniel Ojara, Robert Muhereza, Emmanuel Arineitwe, Jovita Kyarisiima, Fred Wambede, Susan Nanja, Sylivia Katushabe, Jane Nafula, Moses Ndhaye, Stephen Otage, & Jacinta Kannyange.