The government has committed in redeveloping Namugongo Muslim Martyrs Mosque because of its historical importance in the promotion of religious tourism, the Third Deputy Prime Minister, Hajjat Lukia Nakadama Isanga has revealed.
“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,” deputy premier said while representing President, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni during special memorial prayers for the souls of Muslim martyrs at Namugongo Wednesday.
Several Muslims converge at Namugongo Muslim Martyrs Mosque on June 1 to remember the Muslim martyrs as part of the events marking the day when the late President, Idi Amina Dada established the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council- UMSC, the umbrella body of all Muslims in Uganda.
In her speech, the minister noted that “I am delighted that I have seen the place, there is written historical records given to me, and there is steering committee headed by a renown Prof Badru Kateregga, the former Ambassador that oversees the Site.Now i am in a position to write a full report, which I will present to the President in the following week, so pray for me.”
She revealed that in the coming Financial year, Muslims will also be included in the National Budget to receive funds as their Christian counterparts for the development of the site.
Nakadama also revealed that the government will compensate the squatters on the six acres of Mosque land to give room for the construction of a modern Mosque and the Center befitting the proposed Kira Martyrs City.
She used the same occasion to remind Muslims to utilize all avenues to unite and put aside their petty difference, which have for long made them lose focus and retarded development.
Earlier on, Sheikh Mustafa Khamis Lule, the East Buganda Regional Kadhi, who represented Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubaje, the Mufti of Uganda thanked president Museveni for extending support towards Muslim initiatives.
He cited the recent allocation of funds for the forthcoming nationwide Muslim polls and the UMSC Constitutional Amendment process.
Lule paid tribute to Hon. Nakadama for turning up for the event, saying that she is the second-high ranking Gov’t official after the late President Idi Amin Dada to visit the site. Amin laid the foundation stone for the construction of Namugongo Martyrs Mosque on Aug 10th, 1975.
On his part, Prof Kateregga 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.
“I am an expert in Islamic and Middle East Geographic Studies, so how could I just sit without doing anything to set the record straight”? Prof Kateregga inquired amidst laughers from listeners.
Adding “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.”