By Zziwa Ashiraf
After the signing of the Kassamallah Kampala Agreement on Sept 1st 1981, the UMSC Executive Committee Chaired by the late Prince Al Haj Badru Kakungulu dedicated 1982 as the year of peace and development.
The executive sent a high powered UMSC delegation led by Sheikh Kassimu Mulumba, the Chief Kadhi of Uganda for a month long trip to the Arab World to lobby for assistance for UMSC projects including Ranches.
The other members of the delegation were the late Sheikh Maulana Abdu-Razak Matovu the Mufti, Hon. Secretary General Haj. Isah Khalifa Lukwago, Sheikh Ali Kivumbi, the then Secretary for External affairs and Sheikh Twaib Masembe was a member from the Majlis Al Ulam (College of Sheikhs).
The delegation recieved warm reception from both Government and Private Organizations in host countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Bahrain, Qatar and UAE.
They were able to meet Gov’t Officials incharge of Awqaf and Islamic affairs, Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Information, , Higher Education, Heads of International Organizations such as OIC, Rabita, World Assembly of Muslim Youth, Islamic Solidarity Fund and Universities.
While in meetings with the officials of the host countries and Organizations, the Ugandan delegation was hailed for choosing unity.
Prior to this trip, the host Gov’ts and Institutions had earmarked hefty cash donations for the support of the UMSC recovery programs and projects but withheld the aid due to the sharp wrangles.
This included suspending money on the UMSC external dollar bank Accounts then in the Saudi British Bank in Riyadh Saudi Arabia.
However, the presentations by the UMSC delegation on the progress made so far impressed their hosts.
They immediately decided to release the funds, donations and scholarships they had pledged to provide to UMSC and made more pledges.
Rabita pledged to pay salaries of departmental heads at the UMSC headquarters and were to pay monthly allowances to Sheikhs involved in Islamic propagation Programs and teachers in Islamic institutions.
They also asked the delegation to deliver a special request asking the Ugandan Gov’t for permission to open a Regional office in Kampala with full Diplomatic recognition.
On their way back home, the delegation made a stopover in Nairobi, Kenya where they paid courtesy call to the Ambassadors of the League of Arab States, Pakistan and Libya.
The author is the Spokesperson of Uganda Muslim Supreme Council.