I would like to suggest a few ideas Muslims need to think about instead of just praising certain leaders against the other. In other words, I would like to install the spirit of brotherhood amongst the few Muslims who can access this forum.
REGISTRATION OF UMBS AS A NON-GOVERNMENT ORGANISATION
I would like to assure Muslims in Uganda and abroad that UMBS was officially registered as an organisation in Uganda Allihamudulilah. The process went smoothly allaihamudulilah without any problems and we have our certificate. Please, we don’t want a situation to arise where UMBS is registered more than once using different names because it will take us back to square one in terms of disunity. This is the reason why I was directly involved in the registration process though I had initially left it to Muslims in Kampala.
THINK TANK FOR MUSLIMS
I’m in the process of designing a constitution that will govern UMBS THINK TANK. We need a think tank for Muslims in Uganda to help us come up with various solutions affecting the Ummah. I must warn you in advance, that I rarely have time for meetings, but I will post a mobile phone here specifically to be used for people who wanna get in touch with me about anything. Leave a message and a number if I don’t answer and I will get back to you as soon as possible. My email address is also open to anyone who wants it: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please send us any ideas that you think may be helpful to Muslims. Please don’t keep them to yourself.
SCHOLARSHIPS FOR MUSLIMS
I think there is a process already in place in the Ministry of Education, UMSC headquarters and Muslim organisations in Kampala where scholarships are awarded annually to certain Muslim students. I’m saying this because I know a few Muslims studying in Egypt and Algeria on scholarships from these organisations. Muslims here who know what is involved in the process should use this opportunity to speak up, and let us know, such that we find ways of identifying better candidates for these respective organisations.
We should take this matter very seriously , at least for those still struggling to make it on the educational ladder. Some of us have studied through ‘BUKUJUKUJU’( street smartness) but we wish to make things a bit easier for our Muslim daughters and sons in future if everybody here is up to it. It won’t be easy but it can be done if everybody is up to it.
There is an idea of starting up a MUSLIM FUND such that Muslims can borrow money for studies. I was briefed that some brothers in Uganda were already working on it but i don’t know how far they have gone. I thought it was a brilliant idea but i don’t know what is happening now. All i know is that UMBS has developed a written business plan for this project but we want to first raise funds to construct office headquarters before we go into it inishallah.
On this note, I would like to thank all those who have been posting informationto UMBS forums about various scholarships offered by some organizations in and outside Uganda. Please continue to do so. Let your fellow Muslims know about the scholarships going anywhere in the world.
UMBS ALLIANCES WITH OTHER MUSLIM ORGANIZATIONS
Again, if you know any Muslim organization in Uganda, East Africa, Middle East, USA, UK, e.t.c that have got almost the same objectives as UMBS, please find a way of connecting us to them. We wanna be sharing ideas and platforms for the sake of the Ummah. This is one of the reasons why we have got some Muslims from Kenya, Ghana,Nigeria and Tanzania that are members of this forum. We are brothers and sisters and the best way to be successful in this world is to find a way to work together, and to link up on different issues.
Actually, if there are even non-Muslim organisations that are flexible to work with the Muslim community, please connect us to them such that we find a way of benefiting each other mutually.
MUFTI VISITS TO PRESIDENT OF UGANDA AND OTHER LEADERS
The Mufti(s) should use his international and presidential visits to attract scholarships and other investments to the Ummah. This will make the Muslim youth to start looking at the leaders differently than the way some are looking at them now. We need to make Old Kampala and Kibuli Muslim headquarters appear as magnets for the youths and problem solving. If one of the most hated party in Uganda- (UPC), are still capable of organizing scholarships for their cadres and send them abroad to study master’s degrees and PHD, how come UMSC( Old Kampala) and Kibuli can’t do it.
This is where I need to be advised by diplomats on this forum about diplomacy and cultural institutions. Is there any way UMBS can negotiate things DIRECTLY with the embassies in Uganda without the permission of the central government to offer certain services to us as Muslims? The British Embassy, for instance, offers a lot of scholarships to Ugandans to study abroad but a specific group of people take advantage of them and we miss out. I have met several of them here in the UK who are studying on these scholarships.
Look brothers and sisters, even if I fail to implement these things, someone out there who wants to do so, should get on his bike and do it, as long as we all benefit, for the sake of a strong Muslim generation.
There have been conflicts about Land under the current leadership at Old Kampala. It is sad but we have got to find a way around this. As long as some Muslims are still bitter with the leaders at Old Kampala, it may become difficult for Muslims to unite for other investments that may be beneficial to the Ummah.
Is there any way the Muslim land that was ‘illegally’ sold can be recovered? The good thing about Land is that it cannot be taken anywhere like a car. It is always in one place. So, let the lawyers here advice us if the Muslim land that was ‘’given away’’ or ‘’sold’’ can be recovered. If not, I request everybody hurt by this issue to just let it go and we move on. It is dividing us so much and we are losing so much out of this disunity.
There is so much confusion in the land office but fortunately the ministry has now got a good spokesperson, Denis Obbo, who is always willing to answer relevant questions as shown on the link below.:
How would Muslims help each other to start up small businesses? There is the idea of an Islamic Bank being started in Uganda, and I think it is in the pipeline, but I don’t know when it will materialise. But when it does, it may be ideal for Muslims who want to start up small businesses instead of running to the sharks in the so called Micro finances. We should develop a financial model that can help Muslims prosper in small businesses. Let us start sharing business ideas on this forum. If you have got a business plan and you are looking for partners, post here and discuss it with others. They may pick interest and become part of it.
The Muslim TV idea that was suggested here should have been easy if we had a Muslim bank in the country. Sometimes, I wish Greenland Bank was still around because we would have done a lot. It is always difficult to raise funds from individuals.People rarely donate big funds for serious causes.
If you are a Muslim in a responsible position, find a way of helping fellow Muslims to get jobs in your organisation or anywhere else. You can do this by alerting them about the job that is available. Don’t just keep quiet please.
If you know of any job being advertised anywhere, please post here for Muslims to apply. Those who are already doing it, we thank you very much.
The main reason why most Muslim political candidates fail in Uganda politics is because their strategies tend to be wrong. The Ummar needs to help them strategize properly. Just founding an organisation and call it whatever name isn’t enough to take anybody to state house or parliament or some elective post. There are several ways other Muslims can help in this process:
1. Identify the Muslim candidates that can be trusted and then front them for political office. Kibuli’s Prince Kassimu Nakibenje,Mufti of Uganda and other Muslim leaders are normally consulted for the post of the EC chairman( as the president has preserved this as a Muslim docket), i guess. The same people can help us influence the president to drop the person if we think he is not performing to our expectations;
2. Doing ‘KAKUYEGE’( Mobilisation at the grassroots) for Muslim candidates regardless of political affiliations;
3. Finding ways of forwarding Muslim concerns to the president of Uganda and other leaders in the country;
4. Re-enforcing or energising the efforts of Islamic leaders at the grass root level. This means helping Muslims involved in politics at local level. The local mosques can do their bit on this one to identify good characters who are not gonna embarrass us to stand for LC1, LC2,LC3,LC5 or district chairmen;
5. Discuss ways on how Muslims can join different political parties. Muslims don’t need to be egg- baked into one political party. Let them join different political parties or any party they fancy, and must have our support wherever they are as long as Islam comes first before anything else;
6. Find ways of creating a relationship with all kingdoms in Uganda. We could nominate our Muslim representatives and forward these names to respective kingdoms. The idea is to have these Muslims acting as our ambassadors as far as cultural matters in the country are concerned. Muslims should volunteer to do these kinds of jobs for us;
7.If there is a job anywhere in a government institution, please help a fellow Muslim brother to know about it. If you are one of those with a disease called ‘ENUGGU’( selfishness), then pray to Allah to help you overcome it, but still find it in your heart to help a fellow Muslim. Allah will reward you for it.
INSECURITY AND LEGAL PROBLEMS
In case a Muslim is in trouble with the law, are there any means he or she can be helped? This must be done in a way that does not encourage criminality among Muslims.We don’t want to encourage law breakers amongst us to continue without being punished.
However, If you work in security services in the country and you think a fellow Muslim is being unfairly trailed and something ‘evil’ is being planned against him, please find a way to help them know about it. We must always find ways of protecting fellow Muslims.
If there is ‘akatabanguko’’ (a serious security situation) in the country, as it was the case in 1966, 1979-1985, September 2009 and April 2011, is there any way we can help fellow Muslims who need our help? What can we do as Muslims to help each other in case of serious insecurity in the country?
We have ‘fronts’(Heroes) among Muslims all over the world as Buganda has got people such as Beti Nambooze, Ssegona, Ssemuju Nganda, e.t.c, what would be our relationship with them? How can we ensure that they use their positions to fight for Muslim interests in the country? People like Imam Kasozi are some of the characters who are so much identified with Islam and Muslim communities, how do we encourage them to continue to link up with the local Muslims? How do we make sure that such people keep getting our thoughts on various issues happening in the country?
DISCIPLINING THE ‘JUDAS ISCARIOT’ AMONG THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY
What would be the possible ways of disciplining Muslims who let us down? How do we do this without breaking up the ummar? If I can use Luganda words to strengthen my point here:’’Tulina okuba abesimbu nokufuna ‘information’ entuufu – olutali lugambo oba bukyaayi bwa bantu. ‘’ I mean, if a Muslim is gonna be disciplined, we must make sure we get true information about what they have done instead of ‘’wolokoso’’( if I can borrow this Kampala street term).
DEATH OF A MUSLIM ABROAD
What are the best ways of helping a Muslim family who have lost one of their loved ones abroad and want the body returned to be buried at home? Can any of us here form an organisation specifically for this purpose and have Muslims contribute some money into it on an annual basis? What is the best way around this? Where would such an office be located?
Others may add more suggestions on this as we find other ways of benefitting from this forum and uniting Muslims. And please share these ideas with fellow Muslims you know who may not be members of this forum. It will help them to start seeing things differently.
UMBS TV IN UGANDA
We would like to develop an Islamic TV for Muslims in Uganda. We have got all the committees in place and a business plan but we are yet to get someone willing to invest in this project. We had proposed that if about 100 Muslims buy shares each at $1000(approximately £700), then this money should be enough for us to start. The problem is that nobody has come out to invest anything ever since we advertised the idea.
We have also been disappointed by people’s reluctance to contribute to a Modern UMBS website.
Thank you and Wassalamu
Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. “
~ Martin Luther King Jr. ~