By Mahad Musa
As the holy month of Ramadhan comes to the end Muslims across Uganda are gearing up for the Eid-Al Fitir celebrations, Fahad Mading Mwanga, a Muslim Cleric has petitioned the government to declare the day after Eid, a public holiday.
As it is the norm, many will be looking forward to traveling to celebrate the special day with their families and loved ones.
However, being a one-day holiday, Mwanga says, this poses a challenge to many moslems especially those employed formally since they have to report to their work places the following day after Eid.
“Imagine someone coming from Budaka, Arua, Kotido. Is it realistic for someone to travel to Kotido and come back to their work stations if it’s Kampala within 24 hours and concentrate on their jobs? It’s impossible,” he noted.
He says in the long-run, Muslims are left with no choice but to apply for annual leave. He adds that the ones without work-leave have resorted to feigning sickness, pretending to have lost someone or find any lie along those lines to make sure they don’t come back to work the following day after Eid.
“Now that is suicidal. One, you could lose your job if they get to know you’re lying but most importantly you’re just from fasting, the month of Ramadhan is all about cleansing yourself , cleansing your heart, cleansing your faith. Now you cannot afford to lie on the day of celebrating the month of Ramadhan”
He adds that many have been resented by their families for failure to travel and celebrate with their loved ones.
Mwanga compared the moslems’ fate with christians’ where the latter enjoy three public holidays namely Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday which he says is ample time for them to travel to their respective home areas and return to their work places.
Mwanga has therefore petitioned the Prime Minister to advise President Yoweri Museveni to declare under Section 2 of the Public Holiday Acts Cap.255, the day after Eid, a public holiday.
Mwanga wants the government declare the day after Eid, a public holiday just like it is the case in neighboring Tanzania.
This year’s Eid which will mark the end of Muslims’ fasting period is expected to fall on any day between 12th and 14th May 2021 both working days.