Muslim leaders in Butembe County, Jinja district have demanded that government expedites the implementation of Islamic banking.
In 2016, the Parliament passed the Financial Institutions Amendment Bill, which introduced the Islamic system of banking that allows for access of interest free loans with no collateral. Passing this Bill however, is subject to the establishment of a Central Shariah Advisory Board in the Central Bank to regulate Islamic banking.
The MP Butembe County, Hon Nelson Lufafa said that implementation of Islamic banking is long overdue. He was speaking during a meeting between the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga and the Muslim leaders of Butembe on 21 May, 2018 at Butembe Police Station.
Lufafa asked the Speaker to fast track the roll out of the Islamic banking system.
“This system will help solve the problem of extortion by banks which charge high interest rates,” said Lufafa.
Sheikh Yusuf Awuye, the Chairman Butembe Muslim Community noted that Islamic banking will contribute towards reduction of the high poverty levels in Busoga.
“This system will bring Islamic banks closer to the locals and enable them access interest free loans,” said Awuye.
Kadaga pledged to follow up with the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development to establish the progress of the implementation of Islamic banking. .
In a related development, the Speaker has encouraged the Busoga Muslim community to promote environment conservation activities during the Ramadhan season. ,.
“I need to see Muslim leaders championing planting of at least 30 trees at every mosque in Busoga,” said Kadaga.
She was officiating at the launch of the Environment Conservation Programme in Busoga at the Tembo Steels plant in Iganga. The event was organized by Tembo Steels in partnership with Busoga Development Association (BUDA).
Kadaga pledged a vehicle for BUDA to ease the transportation of tree seedlings after the Association raised concern that efforts to promote tree planting are hampered by lack of appropriate transportation.
The Chief Executive Officer BUDA, Mawazi Bulagala said their target is to make Busoga green by 2030.
“The campaign to green Busoga has been rolled out to primary and secondary schools as well as to institutions of higher learning,” he said.
Meanwhile, the District Chairperson Iganga, Patrick Kayemba raised concern over the power shortage in Tembo Steels which he said has slowed down work in the factory.
“There is an urgent need for the government to address the problem of power shortage because Tembo Steels is contributing to the development of this region,” said Kayemba.
The Speaker assured the company that the power shortage will be resolved, saying that Tembo Steels has contributed towards reduction of unemployment in the region.