OP-ED: ONC’s Namyalo Is Delivering Museveni’s Right Wealth Creation Message To Muslims

How ONC’s Namyalo Convinced Museveni To Sort Muslims’ Needs Through Salaam Bank

By Gashegu Muramira

Recently, a video of an unidentified Muslim man who is reported to have visited one of the Islamic countries in the Middle East went viral on social media. While many of his colleagues prayed to Allah for sound health, peace and wealth, he took a video of himself clad in full Islamic attire launching scathing attacks on President Yoweri Museveni, and the NRM government.

What the man intentionally forgot was that the public to which he was directing the video – judged him as a liar and a very ungrateful person. “How does someone say there is no freedom to work and worship in Uganda, yet he always prays here and is able to make money in Uganda, buy a return air ticket to go wherever he is, and return untouched by anyone to a country he describes as hell?” Rajab Kitooke, a fellow Muslim commented in a post on X.

As the unidentified man tool the video, hundreds of Muslim faithful who included students from different institutions of higher learning in the country were receiving food packages as part of the Ramathan Charity drive from the President, through his Personal Assistant Hajjat Uzeiye Hadijah Namyalo, the Head of the Office of the NRM National Chairman (ONC).

But the gist of this article is not about the routine food packages President Museveni usually delivers to the Muslim community to break their fast, through ONC. No! The actions by the President resonate well with those of Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu – who once said that if you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day, but if you teach him how to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.

The fasting items are always accompanied by strong empowerment words calling on our Muslim brothers and sisters to embrace government programs like the Parish Development Model (PDM), which aims at improving household incomes, enable inclusive, sustainable, balanced and equitable socio-economic transformation; while increasing accountability at local levels.

Contrary to a few naysayers within the Muslim community who keep saying the funds contravene Islamic principles on riba (interest), the President guided that the PDM funds are grants free from interests or profits. In further demonstration on how much he wishes well for the Muslim community, the President last month launched Salaam Bank, Uganda’s first-ever licensed Islamic Banking institution, emphasizing his strong belief in politics of economic empowerment not identity.

Just like the listening President he is, Museveni took the riba message serious, and assured Muslims that he would follow up the bank launch in the near future with a meeting of their leaders so that they discuss PDM and riba and how Muslims can benefit from the program without any limitations.

“If you convince me that the PDM and Emyooga money has some contradictions as per the Islamic teachings, then I will find a way how I send your money direct to this bank,” President Museveni said while launching the bank during Ramathan dua prayers organised by the Office of the National Chairman-NRM at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds.

Having appointed many Muslims in his leadership notably; Hajjat Namyalo to head ONC – a powerful party national mobilization office, and launching Salaam bank in Uganda, through those actions alone, the President has demonstrated that he remains committed to the National Resistance Army/Council Ten Point programme, which includes; fighting ideological disorientation and eliminating sectarianism.

The writer is a staff of the Office of the National Chairman (ONC) and the Sub Region Coordinator for Greater Mukono. 

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