Uniting Muslims under NRM: How Hajjat Namyalo changed the narrative at Kololo

By Kyeswa Hakim

Wednesday, March 27, 2024, yet again set a landmark date in the history of Uganda as President Museveni launched Salaam Bank, the country’s first-ever bank purely grounded on Islamic Banking Principles and the Sharia law.

The event, hosted at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds witnessed a mammoth crowd, lower and high-class Bazzukulu turn up in large numbers to experience the day with the President, the Chief Guest who congratulated them on fasting for Ramadan, as well as gracing the Dua prayers organized by Hajjat Namyalo, the Manager of the Office of National Chairman – NRM (ONC).

Unlike in the past when President Museveni always met only Muslim leaders during Ramadan, the narrative this time around changed, thanks to Namyalo’s stellar mobilization skills which saw tens of thousands of Muslims throng Kololo for the Ramadan Dua Prayers. This did not only mean that Jajja Museveni is loved by Ugandans but rather disputed the analogy that Museveni is not loved by the Islamic community.

The Kololo event also Hadijah Namyalo’s effort towards the operationalization of Islamic banking in Uganda. Through ONC, Namyalo lobbied and sought from Salaam Bank Group, the official launch of the maiden bank’s expansion to Uganda, with of course, full involvement of the Muslim community, who will undoubtedly be the major clientele of the bank, defined by its various banking products.

At the same event, Namyalo led the Muslims in extending special thanks to the President for both assenting to the Islamic Bank Law and most recently saving their property from mafias.

To mobilize and fill up the Kololo grounds with such a mammoth crowd further showcased how Namyalo has championed and revived the support for the ruling NRM government through ONC. As a matter of fact, the event, which was an open invite was entirely independent of any funding from the State House or the Government, but rather from wellwishers of ONC’s impactful empowerment drive who made it happen, and of course a success.

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At the climax of the Ramadan dua prayers at Kololo, the Muslim faithful walked away with food packages courtesy of ONC’s Namyalo to help them break their fasting, among which was; sugar, rice, and posho, among others.

For NRM politicians and those eyeing candidacy in the forthcoming internal and general elections, the success of Hajjat Namyalo’s Kololo Dua Prayers should serve as an eye-opener to benchmark her strategy in getting together masses, regardless of the magnitude of the event.

Anyone who has ever hosted an event at Kololo at least knows how strenuous it is to fill up the venue, at least we have seen from previous functions and state events that have flopped from here before, but Namyalo simply doubled the peak from last year’s President Museveni Birthday as more and more Bazzukulu filled up Kololo to full capacity on Wednesday.

And with her ongoing nationwide empowerment drive, Namyalo continues to create an impact in society, while at the same time mobilizing support for the ruling NRM to reclaim glory, come 2026. This is why at the moment, at least most Ugandans are now in firm belief that President Museveni will be back on the ballot in the next Presidential election, thanks to NC’s #OmalakoJajjaTovaKuMain campaign.

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Namyalo’s specific focus on empowerment initiatives, which fully aligns with President Museveni’s gospel of integrating Ugandans into the money economy, marks a historic shift in modern politics. She has established ONC coordinators right from Bazzukulu, District/City to the regional level, all of whom have taken an unprecedented step in monitoring government programs and vital sectors such as Education, Infrastructure, and Health, to ensure that the last-man beneficiary gets access to share the national cake.

The writer is a media analyst, at the Office of the National Chairman (ONC) – Kyambogo.
hakimkim255@gmail.com, +256762969420

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