Gen. Tumukunde Hosts Muslims as Demand for Re-opening of Mosques Grows

Sheikh Ndirangwa (2nd R) and Prince Kassim Nakibinge during Eid prayers at Kibuli.

Presidential aspirant, Gen. Henry Tumukunde hosted Muslims to celebrate Eid-al-Adhuha, the feast of sacrifice. With closed mosques countrywide due to the Covid-19, Tumukunde’s residence at Kololo was a venue for a selected group of Muslims led by Kampala district Kadhi, Sheikh Edrisa Luswabi.

Tumukunde used the opportunity to ask the Muslims to pray for his 2021 presidential bid and also urged Muslims to speak up against oppression and discrimination.

At Kibuli, the Supreme Mufti, Sheikh Silman Kasule Ndirangwa, has appealed to the government to re-open places of worship so that believers can jointly seek divine intervention in the battle against COVID-19.

This year’s celebrations came at a time when mosques in Uganda are still closed due to a ban on large congregations as a measure against the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic which forced Muslims to celebrate the day from their homes.
Ndirangwa said there is no justification for opening all the other public spaces and maintain restrictions on places of worship like mosques.

He said all Muslim leaders are now aware of the danger that COVID-19 presents and very well know how to conform to the Standard Operating Procedures. He added that all believers are optimistic that God will only help the world to come out of this pandemic if people, call unto his name.

MP Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda speaks after Eid prayers at Kibuli

Kenya already announced the gradual resumption of congregational worship in which only 100 congregants will be allowed into the sanctuaries at a time. Services will also be restricted to just an hour, while vulnerable persons and minors below the age of 13 will be exempted from the services.

According to the World Health Organisation, the measures are fundamental mechanisms to control the spread of infectious diseases, particularly respiratory infections, associated with large gatherings of people like COVID-19.

The health agency has equally advised that in celebration of Eid Al Adha, the faithful should avoid the crowded gathering associated with the distribution of meat, and instead, consider using centralized entities, agencies, and institutions, which should adhere to physical distancing throughout the whole cycle of collecting, packaging, storing and distribution of meat.

In Soroti, the Teso District Khadi, Sheik Asuman Muhammed Ocen has asked Muslims in the region to join elective politics.

Ocen made the call on Friday while leading Eid Al- Adha prayers at Soroti Main Mosque. Only 20 Muslims were cleared for prayers as the country maintains restrictions on public gatherings as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to Ocen, few Muslims are participating in active politics in the region, which leaves many issues of Muslim faith neglected.
Hajji Abdullah Abdurrahman, the treasurer of Soroti Main Mosque challenged politicians who are seeking votes in the forthcoming general elections to desist from serving the interests of the party and abandoning the electorate but rather the communities they represent.

Hajji Abdullah said it is painful to see representatives of the people turning their backs to the electorate in favor of some selfish individuals.

In Luweero, the District Kadhi Sheikh Ramadhan Mulindwa Nsanja has asked the Uganda Police Force and other security agencies to be impartial to all aspiring candidates while enforcing the guidelines on COVID 19.

He said the police should not selectively apply the directives.

Last month, the Electoral Commission (EC) announced a ban on open-air campaigns, in the wake of coronavirus disease. Political aspirants were asked to utilize virtual platforms to reach their constituents.

Police have also several times blocked opposition aspirants from holding meetings as they enforce the COVID-19 directives. Pictures and video clips have emerged on social media as aspirants for National Resistance Movement party tickets engage in large meetings with no Police interference.

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