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President Museveni Hosts Muslims to Iftar Dinner

The President was also happy to note that the religious groups are now encouraging their followers to work in order to enhance their livelihoods.

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on Wednesday 27th March, 2024 hosted the Muslim community for an Iftar dinner at State House-Entebbe.

During the dinner, President Museveni congratulated the Muslim faithful for successfully moving this far in the Ramathan season.

“When I hear people quoting the Quran and explaining it like how my niece was doing, I find a lot of similarities with the Bible. I wonder where the difference between the two comes from because I find the substance to be quite close,” he said.

The President was also happy to note that the religious groups are now encouraging their followers to work in order to enhance their livelihoods.

“What I’m liking most these days is that all the religious groups seem to be correcting the mistake which was here in the 1960s. There was an idea in some of the religious groups that you didn’t have to be prosperous economically; God would still be happy with you. That’s how I differed with the Scripture Union of which I was president that time in 1965. I rejected the line that even if you don’t work, God would still provide for you. In the book of Genesis it is clear that God created man and gave him dominion over nature,” he explained.

“When I hear the way, you are preaching now, this is really good, you are helping our people to work by harmonising the messages of wealth creation. I would therefore like you the leaders to thoroughly grasp the line of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) of wealth creation. In the 1960s, our difference with some of the people was on the issue of the elite becoming prosperous and the masses remaining in poverty. Our line was “bonnabasome” and “bonnabagagawale”. That is why some people were calling us communists because we said all people must be well.”

President Museveni further revealed that through his wealth creation message, he has been able to help a good number of Ugandans to overcome poverty.

“Like in my village Kawumu- Makulubita when I last checked, we had about 1,200 homesteads. Now I told the people there to make sure that each homestead gets involved in the money economy and they get out of poverty. I don’t want a situation where some people in the Parish are doing well whereas others are not alright. I don’t support that. In Kisozi I have 2,035 homesteads in the 9 villages around my farm. When I started with them more than 30 years ago, they were all democratically poor, but I managed to get them involved in the money economy. The 9 villages as I speak now have all moved, the same way like in the cattle corridor.”

The President also tasked leaders to help the people they lead to embrace the four sectors of the economy to fight poverty.

“These include commercial agriculture with proper enterprise selection, manufacturing and artisanship, services and ICT,” he said.

President Museveni also cautioned the believers against the physical division of land/property when it comes to inheritance. He said the act is very dangerous.

“Our recommendation is that the children should take shares in the property.”

On the issue of riba (interest) in Parish Development Model (PDM) as far as Islamic teachings are concerned, President Museveni promised to invite experts for a meeting so that they can discuss and solve the impediment.

“Otherwise, we are moving well, we have now brought Islamic banking. You know for us in NRM we don’t believe in discriminating against people.”

On behalf of the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) and the entire Muslim community, the Mufti of Uganda, Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubajje thanked President Museveni for hosting them annually for the Iftar dinner.

He also congratulated the President for the achievements he has registered throughout the years he has been at the helm of the country.

“We thank you for spearheading efforts to eliminate scourges of HIV/AIDS, Ebola, Corona, polio, Malaria, among others. In the Education sector, you provided “Bonnabasome” that contributed to the rise of literary levels in the country,” Sheikh Mubajje noted.

“We also thank you for the wealth creation projects like Emyooga and Parish Development Model. We thank you very much that as a parent and leader, you are very much concerned about the wellbeing of your people.”

He also commended President Museveni for being non-sectarian, saying that such quality of a leader has enabled the country to develop without leaving no one behind.

“Your Excellency, we pray for the redress of the stereotype information against Muslims in regard to terrorism and terrorist activities. As Muslims we should always support the President as he fights terrorism because it is always us whom they pinpoint as being behind such atrocities, so we have to show that we are not among those people who spread terrorism.”

The Mufti also requested President Museveni to economically empower the 10 Muslim regions in the country into model centres of skilling and wealth creation.

The event was also attended by Ministers, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Members of Parliament, Uganda Muslim Supreme Council Chairperson, Prof. Muhammad Lubega Kisambira, among other Muslim leaders.

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