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Museveni: PDM money is not against Islam

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Museveni at State House

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has said the money that the government gives people through the Parish Development Model-PDM is not ribah; a term that refers to the prohibition of interest on borrowed money for Muslims.

In a letter written to Hafwa Nalumansi Ssettala, the chairperson of Taqwa Islamic Sacco Mukono, Museveni said that in his understanding PDM money can’t be described as riba because the small interest that is charged on the money is to maintain its value and also help in the administrative costs. “I have told your…Sheikhs that, in my humble view, there is no riba in the Parish Development Model (PDM). Why? Gavumenti ya Uganda elamira abaana baayo mubuli muruka na Shs. 100 million buli mwaaka (the Government of Uganda wills – kuraga – Shs. 100million per Parish per year). This is not a loan by the Government to the Parish Sacco. It is a grant (kuwa buwi- just giving). Does the Quran say that Omuzadde talamira baana be a parent cannot give by will whatever he wants to his/ her children)?” Museveni’s letter dated March 4 reads in part.

It adds that Sacco money faces one problem of inflation money that is dispensed today can’t be of the same value after year and therefore, to maintain this value, there is a need to charge some small interest. “Money lenders have been demanding, I hear, 3% per month riba. This is 36% per year. This means that if I take Shs. 1 million, after a year, I will pay Shs. 1,360,000. In the PDM case, if the percentage is 10%, I will pay Shs. 1,100,000 after two years on the sente zaffe (our own money on the Muruka). Why? Not to give anybody or any company, amagoba (profit). It is simply to maintain the value of ekyaffe (ours-megwa),” Museveni’s letter reads in part. Museveni called upon the Sheikhs to explain to people why PDM money is not against Islam.

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Museveni also directed the State House Comptroller to give 200 million Shillings to Taqwa Islamic Sacco Mukono following the request for support from the organization in their letter dated February 13, 2024.

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