President Yoweri Museveni has called on the Muslim community and Ugandans at large to work for unity. He made the call last night at State House Entebbe where he and the First Lady Mrs. Janet Museveni hosted them for the annual Iftar Dinner. It was held under the theme: Peace and reconciliation among the Muslim Community in Uganda. It was attended by a number of dignitaries that included the Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, the Chief Justice Bart Katurebe, Ministers and Members of Parliament.
He said “Work for peace. Uganda is making some progress. The only challenge is corruption and we shall fight it. Uganda had become a failed state because our leaders had become sectarian along religious and tribal lines. NRM rejected it because it was going to destroy us.” He said that the policy of NRM is the interest of Wananchi. He thanked the members of all the Muslim denominations in the country for attending the Iftar dinner.
President Museveni thanked Ugandans for getting the message of peace and for putting it into practice. He prayed for peace in Libya, Syria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Aphganistan and Philippines. He prayed for them to regain stability.
He informed the guests that the country today has got the foundation of trunk roads. He said that we have got enough electricity adding that the cost would soon be reduced. He said that the NRM Government was committed to solving the challenge of expensive electricity. He revealed that the Islamic Bank launched its operations in Uganda and that it has made an impact in the economy. He said that Government has made efforts to have the commercial interest rates reduced with the aim of making it easy to run business in the country.
President Museveni said that the Government plans to support exporters and the internal distributors. He observed that importers were parasites in the economy. He said that the remaining task was to put into place a modern train service. He noted that the country today enjoys raw material such as cotton and fruits that need to be processed.
He said that our youths are many and educated adding that they do not have capital. He said that when the NRM Government provides them with skills and we utilize our raw materials they will have the capacity to generate income. He called on the guests and Ugandans at large to stop buying imported furniture when we can produce it locally.
President Museveni said that the country moves on 4 main foundations, namely modern agriculture, small and large scale industries, ICT and services. He noted that these sectors can expand very fast since we have got a good foundation. He observed that through training and counseling we want to transform the youths into job and wealth creators.
He was pleased to note that gold was being processed in Entebbe adding that we have now got the capacity to produce jewelry locally. He said that the country has got a growing purchasing power. He called on the people to buy Ugandan and East African products adding that it was a way of getting out of poverty.
President Museveni pledged to meet the Muslim General assembly with the goal of finding solutions to the conflicts among them. He was pleased to note that Uganda today has got the Inter- religious Council.
He commended the youths who gave a summon on reconciliation. He said that all the people of Uganda need to be prosperous. He noted that there is need to have health and education. He said that in order to be well-off, they should stop begging and start working.
The Mufti, Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubaje saluted President Museveni and the First Lady Mrs. Janet Museveni for continuing to host them for the annual Iftar dinner. He requested the President to take measures against land grabbers whom he described as harassed Wananchi. He thanked him for the positive budget which enables the youths to have employment within Uganda. He prayed for continued peace in Uganda and other countries.
He said that the people need to be sensitized on how best to utilize their money. He said that the Muslim community condemns all acts of terrorism. He thanked the Embassies and other organizations for the facilitations they have provided during the month of Ranmadhan.
Dr. Assad Lutalo gave a talk about peace and reconciliation among the Muslim Community in Uganda He saluted President Museveni for being a liberator. He thanked him for his efforts to reconcile the Muslim community. He said that there was need to build a minimum foundation towards reconciliation. He observed that through the resolution of conflicts Muslims contribute towards progress in the entire country.
Sheikh Ibrahim Ssebunya said that a Muslim is supposed to extend peace to a fellow Muslim and the rest of the community members. He noted that President Museveni has demonstrated that people can and should cooperate regardless of their faith of background. He called on the guests to learn to accept other people’s ideology.