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Saturday, 10 August 2013

Uganda: government considers Islamic banking system

President Yoweri Museveni has disclosed that government is considering introduction of Islamic banking system in Uganda.

The President was speaking at a dinner he hosted to the Muslim community to mark the end of the Islamic holy month. The dinner was held at State House Entebbe. This is an annual event where Muslims all over Uganda are hosted by the President and the First Lady Janet Museveni.

The President was responding to remarks made by the Mufti of Uganda Sheikh Ramadhan Mubajje. The Mufti told the President that many Muslim youth were not benefiting from government projects because of the high interest rates charged by the commercial banks.

 Mufti Mubajje explained that if the country allowed Islamic banking, Muslim youth would access interest free loans from the Islamic banks which do not charge interests on their loans. The President added that cabinet was discussing the matter and that government will take a final decision very soon.

The President congratulated the Muslim community upon the completion of the Islamic holy month. He however, urged them to use their sermons to mobilize the population to fight poverty. Museveni observed the need to enable religious institutions to start income generating institutions instead of relying on offertory from the poor.

 When your followers are poor, this he said, affects the offertory and this is why in many religious institutions the people offer sugarcane and egg plants.

Museveni appealed to the people of Uganda in their respective religious organizations to support the country’s industrialization programme.

He explained that Japan, South Korea and other developed countries have reached where they are because of their industrial base. The President advised the Islamic Community to stop lamenting over the past. What you should do, he said, is to move ahead. He assured the people of Uganda that government was doing everything to ensure peace, stability and economic development.

 He stressed government efforts to eradicate poverty by creating household incomes He criticized the Ugandan media for attacking foreign investors. He explained that investors play a crucial role to the development of any country.

Museveni defended the government policy of giving land and other incentives which he said is done to attract then to invest in the country.

The Mufti of Uganda told the President that the community was committed to supporting government in all its efforts. He regretted that the Muslims did not perform Hijja last year because of the cholera outbreak.

He asked the President to ensure that health workers prevent such problems in the future. The Mufti thanked the President and the First Lady for this annual dinner.

The function was attend by the head of the Ahmadiya in Uganda, Hafzall Ahmed , Omuzaana Sarah Kakungulu mother to prince Kassim Kakungulu, Acting chief justice Justice Steven Kavuma, the Archbishop of Uganda Rt. Rev Stanley Ntagali, the Archbishop of Uganda Orthodox Church Metropolitan Yona Lwanga, cabinet ministers, ambassadors, members of parliament and investors, among others.

(New Vision / 06 Aug 2013)

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