Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubaje, the Mufti of Uganda, led a delegation of Muslim leaders on a courtesy visit to Rt. Hon. Anita Annet Among, the Speaker of Parliament on Wednesday. The delegation comprised of Prof. Dr. Muhammadi Lubega Kisambira, the UMSC National Chairperson, Hon. Muhammad Ali Aluma, the UMSC Secretary General, and Hon. Abbas Muluya, a UMSC Executive Committee Member.
During the meeting, Hon. Among noted the harmonious working relationship between Members of Parliament despite their divergent religious beliefs. She thanked the President for accepting their request to promote inclusiveness when making appointments to government positions, ensuring representation of people from various religious denominations including Muslims, Catholics, and Anglicans among others.
Hon. Among also mentioned that in the spirit of inclusiveness, she ensures that Muslims have access to suitable facilities in the Parliament to observe their obligatory prayers. Additionally, a monthly allocation of 3 million Shillings is extended to all religious groups to support their activities. “Am also committed to continuing sponsoring Muslims in Parliament to go for Hajj and this year, we picked a number of Muslims out of the Parliament for the Holy journey,” she revealed.
In his welcoming speech, Hon. Asuman Basaalirwa, the Bugiri Municipality Member of Parliament, who also doubles as the Chairperson of the Muslim Parliamentary Caucus, expressed gratitude to the Hon. Speaker for her support of their caucus. He highlighted her efforts in addressing the issue of low Muslim representation on parliamentary subcommittees, leading to the appointment of him and his colleagues.
“Hon. Speaker has been very supportive of our cause for instance when we drew her attention concerning low Muslim representation on various parliamentary subcommittees, she made a follow-up with the President which was later rectified leading me and other colleagues to get appointed on the committees. Her efforts have also seen several Muslims securing various Gov’t appointments such as Diplomats, Judges,” he said. On his part, Mufti Mubaje expressed his delight at the Speaker’s hospitality and presented a written proposal seeking support from her office.
The proposal outlined the UMSC Strategic and Investment Plan 2023-2032, the need for government compensation regarding certain UMSC properties, the establishment of a Central Sharia Advisory Council for the operationalization of Islamic banking, the re-tabling of the Muslim Family Law in Parliament, the legalization of Muslims’ right to slaughter animals for public consumption, increasing Muslim representation in government key authorities, and recommending Muslims for appointments in international agencies and bodies.
He also expressed gratitude to the government for the funds allocated by Parliament for the UMSC’s constitutional review, nationwide elections, renovation works of the National Mosque amounting to Shillings 7 billion, and the passing of anti-homosexuality laws. The Speaker responded positively to Mufti’s presentation and pledged to explore ways to provide support within her capabilities. Other attendees at the meeting included Rt. Hon. Lukia Nakadama Isanga, the 3rd Deputy Prime Minister, and several members of the Muslim Members of Parliamentary Caucus.