Muslims Want Bombo Mosque Elevated To National Heritage Site

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In short
Nubian community leaders in Bombo are demanding for promotion of Bombo Mosque to National Heritage site for what they call its historical, cultural and religious contribution.

Nubian community leaders in Bombo are demanding for promotion of Bombo Mosque to National Heritage site for what they call its historical, cultural and religious contribution.
Built in 1922 by soldiers of the King African Rifles (KAR) and their wives, Bombo Masjid Al Noor in Luweero district is considered among the oldest surviving mosques in Uganda. Apart from acting as a place of worship for soldiers from KAR and the community, it was a centre where Islamic Sheikhs used to meet to advise and educate Imams.
It was also a theological and Propagation Centre for Islam in Uganda and East Africa. It is believed that some of the first Ugandan Muslims to pay pilgrimage to Mecca in 1923 via the tedious Sudan-Red Sea route, Sheikh Muhamadi Aljab and Muhamadi Ssekamwanyi, were its founding members.
The Secretary General of Uganda Nubian Consultative Forum, Ishmael Karim, explains that prominent Sheikhs in Uganda, renowned Nigerian Scholar Muhamadi Abdullah from Bonu state and former President Idi Amin were trained at the mosque.
Karim adds that among the people that have prayed in the mosque include Saudi King Faisal in 1973, President Idi Amin, Yusuf Iggy, the former secretary general of  Organization of Islamic  Conference, and ambassadors  among others.
He however notes that currently the mosque is falling apart as Muslims fail to raise funds to rehabilitate it.
Karim says that in 2011, the then Tourism minister Kahinda Otafiire visited the mosque where elders submitted a petition asking government to take over and promote it to National heritage site for conservation. They are yet to get a response.
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Yusuf Muhamadi, a member of the Bombo Masjid Al Noor Mosque administrative committee, explains that the minaret of the mosque has started curving in and that the entire structureneeds urgent rehabilitation.
The Imam of Bombo Masjid Al Noor Mosque, Sheikh Ibrahim Shebi Mpoko, notes that the mosque still offers Islamic teaching to young people and there is another nursery as part of a master plan but all of these need to be equipped.
Imam Mpoko adds that they want to build a health centre as part of the plan.
The Luweero District Kadhi Mustapha Lule adds that the promotion of the mosque will facilitate development of the town and the community.
URN has not talked to Maria Mutagamba, the minister for tourism, as she is reportedly out of the country and on official visit.


About the author

Brian Luwaga
Since Brian Luwaga joined Uganda Radio Network in 2011, he is still amazed how, "URN is a place that gives journalists a chance to enhance their skills . It gives a journalist an opportunity to adopt and master various aspects of journalism that include radio broadcast, social media, photography and television production."

A practicing journalist since 2009, first with Star FM, Luwaga has always been keen to write about the concerns of the "common person." Based for much of his career in Luweero, Luwaga takes it as a compliment if politicians complain that his reporting is too harsh.

In his journalism, Luwaga likes to merge the past with the present. He believes you cannot understand what is happening now, if you do not have a grounding in the past. Brian Luwaga is the Luweero URN bureau chief. Nakasongola, Nakaseke, Mityana, Mubende and Wakiso districts fall under his docket.

Luwaga is interested in humanitarian work and is a keen Rotarian.