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Fri. Mar 1st, 2024
By Godfrey Olukya    13-5-2013

Saudi Arabia has at last accepted Ugandan Muslims to go there for Hajj after denying them the opportunity last year due to fear that they would spread Ebola disease.

Ugandan Muslims got bitter when they were barred from traveling to Saudi Arabia over Ebola. A total  900 Ugandan Muslim pilgrims had registered to perform Hajj but were shocked when they were denied visas due to Ebola scare.

Ebola is a deadly disease which spreads very fast. Last year it was spotted in western Uganda but later it was eliminated and World Health Organization(WHO) announced that the disease did no longer exist in the country.

Muslim leaders in Uganda threatened to mobilize believers so that they hold demonstrations at Saudi Arabia embassy. Police warned them against demonstrating as government officials promised to dialogue with Saudi Arabia embassy officials.

The Saudi Arabian Embassy has however accepted to resume issuing travel visas which were suspended last year. The Saudi Arabia deputy ambassador to Uganda, Hazza Majed  Alenzi  has met with Uganda parliament Imam Latif Sebagala and other top Muslim clerics in Kampala and assured them that his country had lifted the visa restrictions.

Alenzi said, ‘I can confirm that our Muslim brothers and sisters in Uganda will perform Hajj this year. We shall even increase the number of Ugandan pilgrims this year and we are only waiting for visas  from Saudi Arabia.’

One of the Muslims who missed going last year, Hamza Buule said that he is happy over the lifting of the ban.

Buule said ‘I did not go last year yet I had paid the money for the trip. This time I must go. I will make sure that I go. I am happy over Saudi Arabia’s lifting the ban so that we ca go to Saudi Arabia.’

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