Muslim leaders vow to rally community behind President Kenyatta
NAIROBI, Kenya, May 23 – President Uhuru Kenyatta was Tuesday hailed by Muslim scholars and leaders of Islamic institutions for taking actions that have honoured the community.
The leaders, who met the President in two groups at State House, thanked the President for appointing the highest number of Cabinet Secretaries and Principal Secretaries from the community.
The first group was composed of representatives of major Muslim organisations while the second one included more than 100 of the country’s leading Islamic scholars.
They thanked the President for implementing infrastructure projects in northern Kenya and the coast, which is closing the regional disparities that existed before President Kenyatta came into office.
The first group to meet the President was leaders representing the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM), National Muslim Leaders Forum (NAMLEF) and Jamia Mosque among others.
At the first meeting, which was attended by National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale and Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala, President Kenyatta handed over a donation of 36 tonnes of dates he personally bought to support needy Muslims during the Holy Month of Ramadan.
Leaders who spoke in the both meetings thanked President Kenyatta for also appointing the highest number of Muslim individuals – at least 18- to become chairmen of parastatals or commissions.
They lauded President Kenyatta for his commitment to improve the welfare of all Kenyans as opposed to other leaders who have applied their policies selectively.
Duale said people in northern Kenya appreciate the good work President Kenyatta’s administration has done including the construction of the Isiolo-Moyale road and the ongoing tarmacking of the trunk road linking Mandera, Wajir and Garissa.
He also said Muslims hold visible and prominent positions in government unlike previous regimes.
“There is no time Muslims have held so many senior positions in government,” said Duale, who himself holds the powerful position of being the leader of Jubilee in Parliament.
CS Balala who has served the country in various positions in three governments said Muslims have been honoured more under President Kenyatta’s leadership than at any other time in the history of the country.
The Tourism Cabinet Secretary pointed out that it is under President Kenyatta’s leadership that Muslims were given a public holiday to celebrate Idd ul Fitr
“If there is any time and I have been in three governments, if there is any time the Muslims are closer to government then it is this moment. Since you assumed the leadership of this country, for the first time we held a prayer, an iftar at State House under your leadership,” said CS Balala.
He also hailed the President for honouring the Muslim community by giving them support during the Month of Ramadan by waiving duty to import dates.
President Kenyatta said his government is fully committed to ensuring the rights of all Kenyans are respected irrespective of their religious, colour or creed.
“I want to encourage and assure you as a government we believe that we must be a nation which respects the rights of other and have a government which will ensure the rule of law for all,” said the President.
The President then held another meeting that brought together the first group and more than 100 of the leading Muslim scholars from all over the country.
Sheikh Ahmed Musallam said the scholars who included Imams of mosques from all over the country have decided to rally the community behind the President. He said the decision follows careful considerations by the majority of Muslim scholars.
“Our decision follows consultations and research. We know who is good for the country as well as the Muslim community. Every intelligent person and all those who love peace can see the truth,” said Sheikh Musallam.
Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims Chairman Sheikh Adan Wachu said Muslim scholars and leaders have a duty to guide the community to make the right decisions.
On his part, President Kenyatta said when the truth is told, no Government in Kenya has ever accommodated Muslims more than his Administration.
“I have 20 Cabinet Secretaries and four are Muslims. Ask this man who chants Takbir every time how many Muslims he appointed as ministers when he controlled 20 ministries during the days of the coalition government which had 40 ministers,” said President Kenyatta.
He said Muslim dominated areas have benefited from the massive infrastructure and electricity projects the Jubilee Government has implemented.
The President called on Kenyans to reject propaganda by people who do not care about them.
He said he can do nothing about wrongs that were committed before but he is determined to ensure a better future for all Kenyans.
“That was why I took the unprecedented decision of apologising on behalf of all previous governments for the wrongs committed against some Kenyans,” said the President.
President Kenyatta also said that the accreditation of two Islamic universities – Umma University and RAF International University – will be considered urgently.
The universities were among the many Islamic organisations represented at the meeting.
Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji and Tarbaj MP Mohamed Elmi were among the leaders who attended the meeting.