LUUKA, UGANDA: President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has asked Muslim leaders to promote integrity and morality in a collective force against corruption and HIV/AIDS through teaching believers the values of honesty and hard work plus building a focused generation with their nation at heart.
President Museveni, who was represented by the vice president Rtd Mj Jesca Alupo was on Friday the chief guest at the thanksgiving ceremony for the newly elected chairman Uganda Muslim Supreme Council(UMSC) Al-hajj Prof Dr Muhamadi Lubega Kisambira at Misita village, Bukooma sub county in Luuka district, at a function which attracted a multitude of people including different sector dignitaries.
“I would like to urge you to use the faith of Islam to promote integrity and morality in a bid to fight corruption and HIV/AIDS. Our people must be taught the value of honesty and hard work. These virtues commended by the Koran will ensure a good future for them. We have a duty to raise a generation who are focused and have vision for this country,” read in part of the president’s speech.
“Prof Dr Lubega, you have been ushered into this office by the grace of God. I urge you to be steadfast in fulfilling the duties that have entrusted upon you. The mantle of leadership that you have been holding as the deputy Katuukiro of the Kyabazinga of Busoga and the humanitarian courses you have been pioneering have melted this elevation,” the speech adds.
Museveni said that people have great trust in Dr Lubega and that the leadership that has been entrusted upon him and the responsibility that goes with it is so valuable and cannot be equated to other forms of leadership citing that this kind of spiritual inspired leadership is a service beyond self but also poses challenges and therefore calls for total submission to God. He asked him to lean on God for wisdom, courage and direction to fulfill the tasks ahead of him.
The president urged the new chairman together with his leadership to assist government in promoting development programs in youths such that they are not confused by people with self interests.
“Those who are after their selfish interests are confusing many of our young people who don’t know the history of our country and seducing them into diversionary political ideologies. The NRM leadership is here to interest all the youths into working hard to transform their homestead income. Government has put in place programs for development of our country and your support is to make people love the programs if they are to benefit from them.
The Mufti of Uganda Sheikh Shaban Ramathan Mubaje commended president Museveni for emphasizing wealth creation at different structural levels but blamed the programs implementers whom he says are failing some government programs which would have steered people’s growth in wealth creation.
“I have never seen a president who takes all the time thinking for the common person to overcome poverty, because there is a man called Robert Greene who says that among the laws of power is to keep everyone dependent on you but president Museveni has always been opposed to this and ensured that money is sent up to the parish for people to use and develop. We blame the implementers for failing the president in some programs, however, Uganda would be very far,” said Mufti Mubaje.
Mufti Mubaje urged all Religious leaders to join efforts against homosexuality and asked Hon Asuman Basalirwa who drafted the anti homosexuality amendment bill to be specific with the punishment for people practicing homosexuality. He says that there is need to prioritize the punishment spelt in the Bible and Koran.
“The holy Koran tells us how people of a certain generation were destroyed by the creator and the prophet Muhammad tells us that the act of homosexuality is bad and the doers should be put to death, and so says the Bible in Leviticus 20:13. The punishment for people practicing homosexuality is in the Koran and the Bible, so Hon Basalirwa should include the punishment of death instead of beating around the bush,” he strongly said.
UMSC chairman Prof Dr Lubega requested government to develop Muslim land and protect it from grabbers such that they can get routine income for their people. He also sought support from government to sharpen Muslim leaders through establishing a theological college for leaders either at national or regional levels.
“Your excellency, we now have Muslim leaders in this country who are over 200,000 but we don’t have a theological college where we can put them and take them through the matters of sensitization in social and economic mobilization to enhance or ‘Ugandanize’ them the way they should be. We ask this government to work with us to establish a one stop center if not at the national level at least in every region where our Imams, Sheikhs, chairmen can go and get sensitized about issues of national development and how to change society,” he said before saying that it’s estimated to shs700m but they need the money in form of facilities, technical assistance and personnel.
He whispered to the president that Muslims should benefit in a special way from the current trending parish development model (PDM) saying that the PDM as it is today cannot benefit Muslims since they are not allowed to take interest related loans. He says that government can devise a mean and fund Muslims in different structures to also benefit from PDM.
Dr Lubega said that Muslims are a religion which supports development and government though a few may not, but pledged to implement what the NRM government will guide them to do given their vision and guidance from God. He adds that the leaders are not a political party but when they identify a government with good ideas that can help them socially and economically transform people like the NRM, they can use their structures to mobilize people to do what government want them to do.
He however request president Museveni to donate vehicles to the Kadhis who don’t have since they are respectable members of the community.
In a joint statement read by the district chairperson Mr Wakaze Simon to the chief guest on behalf of the district leaders, the district leaders requested for a number of projects which included among others, the elevation of Kiyunga health center IV to a district hospital, having a Luuka central as a third constituency in Luuka, having a technical institute in Luuka, an integrated sugarcane processing factory which they says it’s on pending after a number of engagement meetings.
The leaders however strongly reminded the president of the promised tarmac of Walugogo-Luuka-Kamuli which was earlier launched by president Museveni ahead of 2021 general elections. They also requested for further funding to enable them work on all district roads citing that the current funding of about shs533m is not enough.
Meanwhile, Rtd Mj Jesca Alupo pledged to be an advocate for people of Luuka district to have their roads made a priority and said, will forward every concern to the president of Uganda for action. Through the vice president, president Museveni pledged a land cruiser TX vehicle to the new chairman UMSC Prof Dr Muhamadi Lubega, but VC Alupo said will present to president, the request by Kadhis to have cars to ease their transport.
The function was attended by among others the first deputy prime minister of Uganda Rt Hon Rebecca Kadaga, Busoga’s premier Dr Joseph Muvawala and his deputies, the Muslim leaders in Uganda, Hon MPs, LCV chairpersons in Busoga, RDCs, former electoral commission chairman Eng Badiru Kiggundu, officials from NRM and opposition, religious, cultural and other political leaders.
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