By Kagolo Hakim
The Third Deputy Prime Minister, Rukia Isanga Nakadama has said the government will finance the renovation and maintenance of the Muslims Martyrs site in Namugongo and also start funding the Muslim martyr’s day celebrations which falls on June 1 every year.
She made the remarks as Muslims led by the Uganda Muslims Supreme Council(UMSC) held prayers at Masjid Noor, Namugongo for the souls of the martyrs killed there between 1874 and 1876.
She revealed that in the coming financial year, muslims will also be included in the national budget like their Christian counterparts for the development of the site.
“As you are aware that June 3rd is commemorated annually as Martyrs Day, especially by Christian denominations. So the day’s events were brought forward for discussion before the cabinet chaired by the president. This is when I came to know that muslims had martyrs and a site at Namugongo. So at the conclusion of the issue, the president sent me to come on the ground to make findings on the historical facts about the site and see what needs to be done in the preservation of the muslim heritage,” she said.
She noted that the government is committed in redeveloping Namugongo Muslim Martyrs Mosque because of its historical importance in the promotion of religious tourism.
She used the same occasion to remind muslims to utilise all avenues to unite and put aside their petty differences, which have for long made them lose focus and retarded development.
Sheikh Mustafa Khamis Lule, the East Buganda Regional Kadhi, who represented the Mufti of Uganda thanked President Museveni for extending support towards muslim initiatives.
Prof Badru Kateregga, the chair of the construction committee of the Muslim martyr’s mosque informed the congregants that he accepted to shoulder the task of overseeing the site purposely to unveil the rich historical facts, which had been buried yet it is very important in the academic world.
“We have heard some hostile comments from some members of the muslim fraternity but this will not deter us from continuing to make public awareness to wake them up, preserve and record our rich muslim heritage for future generations,” he said.