New Vision (Kampala)

19 August 2012

Uganda: Road Closes for Eid al-Fitr Prayer

The Traffic police in Mbarara on Sunday closed both ends of Buremba road leading to Abubakar Jamia Mosque from Mbarara town as multitudes of Muslim worshipers crowded at the mosque for Eid al-Fitr prayers to end the month of Ramadan.

Security was tight as police checked all worshippers heading for prayers.

Hajj Issa Kakule, the mosque chairperson who doubles as the mosque's chairperson construction committee, said women prayed in the road due to lack of enough space and the ongoing construction work to the expansion of the mosque's compound.

Women praying along the road due to a big turn up that filled the mosque beyond capacity at Uganda Muslim

Kakule explained that the completion of the construction work would create enough space for prayers and parking yard.

He asked muslims and political leaders in Mbarara for financial support towards construction and sh2.5m in cash and pledges were raised by the worshippers on Eid al-Fitr prayers.

He said over sh20m was needed for the completion of the construction.

Hajj Adam Swaleh, the Mbarara district Muslim supreme council chairperson, called for transparency and proper accountability in the running of both government and muslim projects.

He also called for unity and forgiveness among all noting that co-operation was vital for the development of the religion and nation.

Swaleh, urged parents to support education and follow up their children at school and know their character for better performance.

"My son spent three years in one of the universities in India and came with nothing, he did not study and I spent over sh18m for his studies. I did not follow him at the University because India was far. I forgave him when he came back, he enrolled in Uganda and he is doing well. I appeal all parents to visit their children at school because I don't want you to witness what happened on me," He advised.

Wilson Tumwine, the Mbarara Municipality mayor, asked Muslims to work hard and stop begging for support from outside countries, saying there was no country that gives free money only if they have an exchange program that benefits both parties.

He also urged them especially youth to maintain the discipline they had during fasting period and not to engage in criminal acts.

Sheikh, Ramadan Hamis, the district khadi, appealed the government to help Mbarara Muslim community to recover their money from Asian community who took their land and ZAMZAM hospital in Mbarara opposite Mbarara Bus Park.

"Asians took our property 10 years back and they have refused to pay us, we need government intervention because this property would generate income for us," He said.

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