Museveni to launch Uganda’s Salaam Bank next week as ONC empowers fasting Muslims

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni guestures a wave greeting when met the Muslim leaders in Uganda recently (Photo/Courtesy)

Kampala, (UG): President Museveni will next week on Wednesday, 27th March 2024, at Kololo ceremonial grounds preside over the official launch of Uganda’s Salaam Bank, the first-ever financial institution rooted on the Islamic Banking system in the country.

The development was confirmed by Hajjat Haidjah Namyalo, the Office of the National Chairman of NRM (ONC) Manager who told journalists yesterday that at the event, the President will also grace the special Ramadan Duwa Prayers where thousands of fasting Muslims are expected to receive Iftar package to break their fast.

Hajjat Namyalo, who is also Mr Museveni’s Senior Political Advisor says Muslims want to meet and thank the President for permitting the Islamic Banking System in Uganda and enacting the Islamic Banking law which allows Muslims to take loans with no interest.

According to the ONC boss, Salaam Bank which is committed to offering banking services and loans in accordance with Islamic principles, with zero interest rates, and the official launch of its operations comes in at the right when Muslims still had unresolved answers about whether or not to take the PDM cash which attracts an interest on return.

“We are glad we now have an answer to the long list of questions we had. Salaam Bank is already in the country and we shall be launching it on that day,” Ms Namyalo told journalists, emphasising that the essence of the function is to empower Muslims, especially, underprivileged communities with relief items to ease their fasting period.

ALSO READ: Museveni advises Muslims on PDM funds, injects Shs200m in Islamic Sacco

The Central Bank of Uganda in September last year granted its first Islamic banking license to Salaam Bank Uganda, a subsidiary of a Djibouti-based bank after the Djibouti-based bank finalized the requirements of acquiring Top Finance Bank in Uganda.

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Also, important to note that the Ugandan parliament passed legislation in June to authorize Islamic banking, which President Yoweri Museveni signed into law in August 2023. The legislation removed the requirement to establish a “central sharia advisory council”, which the Bank of Uganda had opposed.

Meanwhile, the ONC Duwa Prayers have also received a boost after the Fisheries Body – ALAFU donated two bulls towards preparations for the mega fete.

Shortly after receiving the bulls on Wednesday, Hajjat Namyalo rallied all the Bazzukulu especially Muslims and friends of the Muslim fraternity to come in large numbers at Kololo Grounds to benefit from the donation her office will be giving out that day.

“As you are all aware, on that day we are not just breaking fasting for our brothers and sisters from the Muslim community, we shall be donating food items but also have a moment to share and hear from our chairman Museveni,” Hajjat Namyalo emphasized, adding that well-wishers including Salaam Bank have already boosted the preparations.

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DailyExpress understands that a wide contingent of relief items such as rice, sugar, beans, posho, soap, and cooking oil among others will be given out that day to the over 20,000 people expected at the event.

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