Posts tagged as: sheikh

Govt Puts Bounty in Hunt for Suspected Al Shabaab Members

Photo: AU-UN IST / Abakar Albadri

Members of Al Shabaab stand after giving themselves up to forces of the African Union Mission in Somalia (file photo).

The Government has in the last two years placed over Sh100 million bounty on heads of about 35 wanted terror suspects. The money is for reward on information leading to arrest of most wanted Al Shabaab militia.

While some suspects have either been arrested or killed by security agents in Kenya and neighbouring Somalia, many still remain in hiding.

A senior security official privy to the Anti-terrorism operations told Sunday Standard that the bounties have had a great impact in tracking some terrorists.

Mohamed Mohamud alias Mohamed Kuno, a Kenyan Al-Shabaab leader is said to have led the heinous Garissa University College massacre in which 147 people were killed in April 2015. He holds the highest bounty at Sh20 million.

The suspect, also known as Dulyadin Gamadhere, hails from the Ogaden tribe in Garissa County.

He has been linked to several terror attacks in the country, including the September 2013 Westgate Shopping Mall raid in which 67 people were killed.

Mohamud was born in Garissa in 1966 and studied Sharia in Sudan. He was a former Islamic teacher in Garissa between 1997 and 2000, after which he is believed to have joined Al-Shabaab.Gamadere on the other hand was killed in June 2016 in a US airstrike in Bardhere near Kismayu alongside three other senior Al-Shabaab commanders. Kenyan born Ahmed Iman Ali aka Abu Zinira, who is believed to lead between 300 to 500 Kenyan fighters in Jaysh Ayman unit is another terrorist leader with a Sh2 million bounty on his head.

There is another US $ 3million reward by the US government. The Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) Engineering graduate is accused of spearheading successful recruitment of youth into the militia group. Imam, the former head of the Pumwani Riyadh Mosque committee and Muslim Youth Council (MYC) is believed to be running businesses including boutiques and kiosks in Gikomba Market whose proceeds continue funding terrorist activities.

He has climbed ranks and is believed to be the senior most foreign fighter within Al Shabaab. Others with Sh2 million each on their heads include Hamisi Swleh Abdallah, who is wanted for abductions and terror attacks in North Eastern.

Marsabit born Abdullahi Jarso Kotola aka Seyfdeen of Jaysh Ayman and his brother Hassan Jarso Kotola are also on the most wanted terror list. Climbed ranks According to intelligence reports, the Jarso brothers, described as members of the Jaysh Ayman, are believed to have been involved, in among others, the Mpeketoni attacks in June 2014.

Security agents continue to urge for public support even as they hunt down James Kimanthi Masai aka Rafat from Mutomo in Kitui, Rama Mbwana Mbwega aka Junia who comes from Coast.

He is wanted for recruiting youth into terror networks in North Eastern and Coast. Also on the police radar is Hassan Mushi aka Hassa Kuku from Kibirigwi in Kirnyaga East. He previously worked for Avenue Rescue and Emergency Medical Services as driver and first aid responder.

Abdikadir Mohamed Ikrima, Suleiman Irungu Mwangi, Gufu Tari Gufu, Mohamed Ebrahim Mohamed, described as an Al Shabaab recruiter, all have a Sh2 million each placed on their heads.

Police are also hunting down Anwear Yogan Mwok, Abdikadir Haret Mohamed Yussuf Kuno, Ahmed Maalim Bashir, Idris Ismael Issack, Sharif Sheikh Arab, Ahmed Mahat Mohamed aka Jerry, Abdullahi Issack Diyat aka Ubeyd, Suleiman Mohamed Awadh, Abdifatah Abubakar Abdi, Mohamed Osman Aliow aka Isack Okola who was involved in the December 21 2015 Marka bus attack .

Ramadhan Kioko aka Pinji and former county employee Issa Adballah aka Kauni also carry a Sh2 million bounty each on their heads. Those suspected of recruitements and human traffickers of Kenyan youth to Libya include Dahir Mohamed Dahir and Nicholas Karanja Mwangi.

Sudan: Cholera Still Scourge – New Disease Claims 12 Lives in North Darfur Capital

Nyala / Sinkat — An unidentified disease reportedly claimed the lives of 12 people from camp Otash for the displaced in Nyala, capital of South Darfur during the past week. 65 others were infected, however all but two have reportedly been discharged from hospital.

One of the sheikhs confirmed to Radio Dabanga that two displaced people from Otash camp remain at Nyala Teaching Hospital.

Heath emergency committee

On Tuesday Sinkat locality in eastern Sudan set up a health emergency committee against the backdrop of cases of cholera, while the director of Sinkat Hospital Mohamed El Kheir said there were two cases in the city hospital.

Journalist Osman Hashim attributed in an interview with Radio Dabanga the outbreak of the disease to the environmental deterioration and emergence of flies and absence of monitoring of milk, and the spread of cattle cages inside the city.

During a meeting of the emergency committee with the locality Commissioner on Tuesday Sinkat Health Director Khalid Sheikh pointed to a report published by the local media, to distribution of chlorine on water and schools as well as the distribution of prevention pills for the patients’ attendants in addition to spraying and disinfecting.

Sinkat locality Commissioner, Mohamed Tita, directed the emergency committee to focus on cleaning campaigns in the peripheral areas and markets and to put in place a mechanism for the distribution of chlorine for houses, control of food, milk, water resources and health awareness.

Sudan’s first cases of cholera were recorded in Blue Nile state in August last year. Since then, the disease spread in eastern Sudan, and later to the Northern State and central Sudan’s El Gezira. In April, sources in White Nile state reported a rapid spread of cholera. The disease then spread to North Kordofan, and fully hit Khartoum in May.

The epidemic – referred to as “acute watery diarrhoea” by the Sudanese government and several international agencies operating in Sudan – quickly spread in the camps for displaced people in Darfur when the first cases emerged in the region last June.

‘Acute watery diarrhoea’

“The apparent unwillingness of the Government of Sudan to declare the cholera epidemic in the country severely affected national and international mobilisation efforts to rescue the victims and to provide them with the necessary protection,” a group of 30 human rights and civil society advocates, organisations, and activists wrote in a letter to the World Health Organization (WHO). They urge the organisation to quickly intervene and effectively address the cholera epidemic in Sudan.

In the past the DRDC, among others, lobbied for the WHO and other relief agencies to develop emergency plans with Khartoum after it would declare the existence of cholera in the country and stopped using ambiguous terms for the disease.

The WHO, as well as the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) are responding to the ‘acute watery diarrhoea’ disease by establishing health facilities in a number of Sudan’s affected states, and training medical staff, a recent humanitarian news bulletin reported.

Sudan

Somali President Asks Khartoum to Help Fight Al-Shabaab

Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo has asked the Sudanese government to help his country combat the Al-Shabaab… Read more »

Liberia: New President Must Improve Health System

Less than a week before Liberians decide who becomes their next president, a Liberian Imam based in the United States has called on members of the public to vote according to their conscience.

He said Liberia needs a president that will improve its broken health system through building affordable and decent hospitals and clinics across the country.

The Imam wondered how many more Liberians will have to die because they were not among the (1%) privileged to afford treatment abroad in countries such as Morocco, Ghana, India and United States.

Imam Sheriff said Liberia needs a president who will build its roads and bridges to connect the towns and villages for the flow of goods and services.

The Imam hopes that the next Liberian president would be able to provide electricity, clean water and build the sanitation system, particularly in Monrovia.

He called on voters to elect a person who will expand and improve the educational system of Liberia in which no child is left behind.

Sheikh Abubakar Sheriff said the decision of the Liberian people on October 10, 2017 will either move the country forward or backward; therefore, he urged Liberians to avoid violence.

He said regardless of political affiliation, Liberians should acknowledge the fact that the country has had enough of bloody and turbulent experiences in the past and it not necessary to return to the past.

He recalled that from the era of the rice riot of April 14, 1979, the 1980 bloody coup led by President Samuel K. Doe, and his subsequent capture and killing, coupled with rampant corruption and economic enslavement of Liberians, arguably, It was due to blind loyalty and or deliberate act of refusing to vet properly, those public officials seeking elective posts that brought unimaginable consequences.

However, he indicated that while it is true that some of these events were precipitated by long standing grievances, but methods used to solve them were equally unacceptable.

According to Imam Sheriff, “our political association and voting patterns center around some divisive elements such as tribalism, materialism and other personal interests; thereby placing Liberia under the bottom of our priorities.

İn a statement issued in Monrovia, the Imam believes that these elections provide monumental chance to alter the game trends in favor of the masses, stressing that support for any candidate must be based on issues rather than sentiments or emotions.

Liberia

Which Political Candidates Local Artists Are Supporting and Why

For more than three decades, entertainers have continued to play a vital role in Liberia’s politics. Read more »

Tanzania: JPM to Grace Simanjiro Road Project Launch

By Marc Nkwame in Arusha

PRESIDENT John Magufuli will today (Wednesday), write history as he inaugurates the first ever tarmac road to be built in the vast Simanjiro district, Manyara region.

Official statements from both the Arusha Bureau for the Tanzania Information Service (Maelezo) and the Tanzania Roads Network Agency (TANROADS), reveals that the head of state will cut the ribbon to open the 26-kilometre bitumen road linking the Mirerani Mining Hills of Simanjiro to the Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) this afternoon.

The new KIA to Mirerani corridor is going to be the first tarmac road in history of the area to be built in the sprawling Simanjiro district.

The remote Simanjiro is also one of the largest districts in the country but suffers poor communication infrastructures.

The maiden project for the 26- kilometre road linking the junction at the Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) entrance and Mirerani Hills in Simanjiro district will be executed by the M/S China Henan International Cooperation Group Company from China.

The roadwork was carried out at the cost of 32.2 billion/-, making history as the first ever tarmac road to be built in the district resided by mostly the nomadic Maasai pastoralists.

The infrastructural project was supervised by the LEA International Engineering Company Limited from Canada in association with a local firm, DOCH Tanzania Limited.

Coincidentally, President John Magufuli happened to be the person who initially laid the foundation stone for the KIA-Mirerani corridor back in August 2015, then serving as the Minister for Works.

By then, he had just been cleared to run as the presidential candidate for the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party, through which he was elected in the 2015 polls to become the 5th Head of State after independence, taking over from former President, Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete.

Mirerani, on the other hand, comprises of remote, hilly landscape under which the precious and rare Tanzanite gemstones are mined, valuable stones said to be ten-times rarer than diamonds and which are only found in Tanzania.

In another development, reports from the Regional Commissioner’s office here indicate that Prime Minister Mr Kassim Majaliwa will also be jetting into Arusha and is expected to lay the foundation stone for the proposed Longido Water Project on Thursday (tomorrow).

Intended to serve the drought stricken district, the Longido Water Project is being executed by the Arusha Urban Water Authority (AUWSA) on behalf of the Longido Town Council.

The Premier will also use the occasion to address residents of Longido and Namanga border towns. Next Saturday, the 23rd of September, the Commander-in-Chief of the Tanzanian Armed Forces, Dr John Magufuli, will again set history in commissioning officer cadets from the Tanzania Military Academy of Monduli at the Sheikh Amri Abeid Stadium in Arusha.

SUMITOMO Mitsui Construction Company personnel continue with construction of the Tazara flyover at the junction of Nelson Mandela Expressway and Nyerere Road in Dar es Salaam yesterday.

Works, Transport and Communications Minister, Prof Makame Mbarawa, recently directed the contractor to speed up works to reduce the

Tanzania

Govt Slaps Tabloid With Two-Year Ban

Director General of Tanzania Information Services (MAELEZO) and Chief government spokesperson Dr Hassan Abbasi. Read more »

Presidents Call for Accelerated Action to End Child Marriage

Photo: PPU

Uganda’s ambassador to the US, Mull Katende, receives President Yoweri Museveni at JF Kennedy Airport in New York.

By The Independent

New York — President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda has emphasized the importance of education for girls and skills training to boost women’s economic empowerment and financial independence in the fight against child marriage.

“If they can get out of dependence on parents or husbands, then girls can have free choice,” Museveni said in New York at a high-level side event for global leaders aimed at ending child marriage in Africa by 2030.

On the margins of the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly, the governments of Zambia and Canada, with support from UN Women, UNICEF, UNFPA and the African Union Commission, hosted a high-level side event for global leaders to renew their commitments and accelerate efforts to end child marriage in Africa by 2030.

“Girls who marry young are often denied their rights,” said President of Zambia Edgar Lungu. “Ending child marriage by 2030 will require a range of action, including making sure girls have access to quality education, legal reforms and changing traditional harmful practices.”

The September 18 event, was also attended by President of Malawi, Peter Mutharika, and a host of senior officials, provided an opportunity to renew existing partnerships to end child marriage in the build up to the second African Girls’ Summit on Ending Child Marriage in Africa.

“We cannot harvest the best potential unless we stop early marriage,” said Mutharika of Malawi. “Every child must be given empowerment and wings of hope to fly very high. We must invest more in our young people.”

UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka moderated the interactive dialogue and expressed her appreciation for the support of the leaders.

Emphasizing the importance of continued work on the critical issue of ending child and forced marriages, she said: “It is about acceleration. Accelerating action to 2030, so by that time we have eradicated this harmful practice,” said Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka. “If we don’t empower girls, there is no hope for anyone else.”

Worldwide, almost 750 million women and girls alive today were married before their 18th birthday. In West and Central Africa, where child marriage is most common, more than four in 10 girls were married before age 18. Although child marriage is slowly declining worldwide, if current trends continue, due to population growth, the total number of child brides will remain around 750 million in 2030. A third of them will be African. Ending child, early and forced marriages is now a specific target of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 5).

Museveni set to meet Trump

President Museveni is in New York, for the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly currently taking place at the UN Headquarters.

The UN General Debate will open on Tuesday, 19 September 2017 under the theme ‘Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet.’

Museveni is also scheduled to hold various high level engagements during his tour here ahead of his address to the UN, including a meeting with US President Donald Trump on the political Declaration on the UN reform and a circle of leadership High level meeting on the prevention of sexual abuse and exploitation hosted by the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

He will later hold a bilateral meeting with Guterres before addressing the Uganda Investment Conference of about 200 participants.

President Museveni will address the UN General assembly Tuesday night (10:00 -10:15 pm Ugandan time).

Soon after arrival on Sunday, Museveni met a delegation from Qatar Investment Fund, led by the CEO Sheikh Abdulla bin Mohammed bin Saud al-Thani at Park Hyatt Hotel .

He told the Qatar delegation that Uganda is fast becoming a middle-income country with vast investment opportunities in agro-processing, industrialization and the service based sector.

“Uganda is moving towards becoming a fast world country based on four sectors; commercial agriculture, industries, services and ICT,” he said.

The President said investment in the four critical areas including in ICT would promote industrialisation as Uganda moves to becoming a middle income country.

Sheikh Abdulla expressed interest to invest in infrastructure development projects in Uganda such as electricity, agro processing industries and the hospitality business.

The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) is Qatar’s state-owned holding company that is characterized as a National Wealth Fund. It specializes in domestic and foreign investment. The QIA was founded by the State of Qatar in 2005 to strengthen the country’s economy by diversifying into new asset classes.

Museveni also met South Sudan’s 1st Vice President, Taban Deng, and his delegation in New York on sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

UN WOMEN

Three People Go Missing in Kisoro District After Heavy Rains

By Agencies

Three people have been reported missing in Kisoro District following heavy rains.

One of the missing persons has been identified as Theresa Nyirabachengera,52, a resident of Ikamiro in Buchimbiri Sub -county.

Mr Vincent Besigye, says Nyirabachengera was washed away by running water while harvesting Irish potatoes in her swampy garden.

He said two people who were working with Nyirabachengera were rescued.

Mr Abel Bizimana, the Kisoro District chairman says two children were also swept by storm water in Footo village, Nyakabande Sub-county.

He, however, declined to divulge details, saying a rescue team from the district is trying to find the missing children.

Mr David Kataratambi, the Ikamiro Local Council I chairperson, says the floods also destroyed crops in the neighbouring Kigyeyo, Rugarambiro and Kagunga villages in Bukimbiri Sub-county.

He says Muko-Rubuguri Road which connects the districts of Kisoro to Rubanda is currently impassable.

Most parts of western Uganda are experienced heavy rain on Wednesday.

Uganda

Sheikh, Five Others Charged With Aiding Terrorism

Six people, including jailed Sheikh Yahaya Mwanje, have been arraigned before Buganda Road Court on charges of murder… Read more »

Uganda: Global Cybercrime to Cost Firms $6 Trillion

By Christine Kasemiire

Kampala — Public and private institutions around the world are projected to incur $6 trillion by 2021 in curbing cyber threats.

This is contained in a 2017 report by Cyber security ventures.

Speaking during a workshop organised by Sai Pali Institute of Technology and Management and Nemko in Kampala on Tuesday, Mr Ajay Sinha, the president of Grand Global Limited, a liability company in the United States of America, said the report explained dimensions through which most cybercrimes end up.

It indicated ransomware, destructive, cyberwarfare and espionage as the prevalent avenues of cyber threats globally, which will cost $6 trillion by 2021, up from $3 trillion in 2015.

Noting that Uganda has not yet seen many cases of cyber-attacks, Mr Sinha said mobile threats are most likely owing to ignorance in cybercrimes while corporate espionage, aimed at stealing information from companies in existence in order to beat the competition.

“Mobile threats could be the biggest cybercrimes in Uganda because many people use their phones without cyber security because they do not know about it plus company’s data, trying to steal information.

“When a company is young, the only way to get ahead in the game is to steal data from another company. It may come from within Uganda or outside Uganda trying to help a company with interest in Uganda,” he said.

He encouraged companies to invest in being proactive through training employees to be more technologically skilled because the end user tends to be the weakest link used to infiltrate a company.

He also advised companies to engage an information security management system as a proactive move towards the fight against cybercrimes.

The standard ISO 27001 is a ten clause requirement that is inclusive of all employees with emphasis on top management geared toward managing, monitoring risk assessment and auditing to determine the best information security management system.

Call to top managers

Mr Morten Celius, the lead auditor at Nemko in Norway urged top management to be more involved in the security of their companies because it is a very crucial segment of their business which the Information security management system (ISMS) makes easier by integrating different management systems.

“Top management should demonstrate leadership and commitment. If there is no management committee, it is difficult to operate a good information system,” he said.

He also said a good ISMS guarantees protection of people, reputation, clients and brand, propelling a competitive advantage for the company.

Legal and contract compliance is also enforced since the ISMS takes into consideration all laws that are pertinent in the security of the company.

Uganda

Sheikh, Five Others Charged With Aiding Terrorism

Six people, including jailed Sheikh Yahaya Mwanje, have been arraigned before Buganda Road Court on charges of murder… Read more »

Pharaohs Take Over but Cranes Far From Done

By Andrew Mwanguhya

Kampala — Tuesday night’s 1-0 defeat to Egypt saw Uganda drop back into second position and hand coach Hector Cuper’s men the steering wheel. Here is what we learned from the Alexandria clash.

Still a lot more to play for

Egypt and Mohamed Salah might have reclaimed initiatives from coach Moses Basena and Cranes but a lot more can happen in another 180 minutes. By their display in Alexandria, and throughout the five earlier games, Uganda will chase this to the last day. All they have to do is carry out their business against Ghana at Namboole next month and Congo away and let fate sort itself.

Cranes have grown character

Skipper Denis Onyango continues to star for the Cranes, while Farouk Miya’s goals have dried up a little. Miya’s recent underwhelming performances have hardly been helped by limited action at his Belgian club. But the one thing you cannot accuse the Cranes of on Tuesday night and throughout is lack of character, of ambition. Egypt and Ghana may admit their standards have suffered in recent times. But the duo will definitely confess to you Uganda have markedly improved.

Onyango! Just too good

Even before Uganda walked into that cauldron of a stadium in Alexandria, Onyango’s undisputed title of Africa’s best between the goalposts had been emphasized by being named in Caf’s best XI of 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifiers Match Day Three. The Mamelodi Sundowns shot-stopper proved that by making three match saving saves. Salah did finally breach Onyango but that was after the goalkeeper had stopped his first attempt. Onyango has stopped many top class strikers over the years, one wonders why he still cannot be trusted enough to stop them from Europe.

Wadada slips for Salah to finally manifest

Early jitters saw Nicholas Wadada – under pressure – charge toward his goal, then change direction and re-channel his man forward-bound. But the diminutive Vipers man lost footing, and possession, allowing an Egyptian player to pick out Salah’s run. One mistake, and a goal. Salah had been kept quiet by Godfrey Walusimbi in Kampala. Walusimbi and co felt his presence, trickery and speed in Alexandria.

Cranes defence still world’s best

First, no shame in conceding your first goal in 456 minutes to Egypt and Salah. But it had to take a double take from the Liverpool man after Onyango’s wall had kept out the first. Uganda had gone five World Cup qualifying matches without conceding, bringing them into Tuesday’s match as the best defence in the world. Actually, the Cranes, together with Morocco, remain the only countries in the world to have conceded just once since qualifiers started in October 2015.

Basena should complete WCQs.

Two World Cup and Chan qualifying wins and as many losses respectively is hardly a shabby statistic for an interim coach. Fufa gave Basena and Fred Kajoba the two ties against Rwanda and Egypt as they look for a permanent coach. But after the said games, the current technical team – that now also includes Ibrahim Sekagya and Matia Lule – have done at least just enough to earn the remaining two qualifying fixtures of the World Cup against Ghana and Congo Brazzaville, from which they can further emphasize their case.

Uganda

Sheikh, Five Others Charged With Aiding Terrorism

Six people, including jailed Sheikh Yahaya Mwanje, have been arraigned before Buganda Road Court on charges of murder… Read more »

Preparation Won Us Cadets Title – Police Coach

By Abdul-Nasser Ssemugabi

Kampala — Police Boxing Club head coach Dan Kasole relished winning his first major trophy–the Elites title of National Cadets Boxing Championship at the MTN Arena-Lugogo Monday night–but quickly attributed it preparation and teamwork.

“It’s not just my success, I could not do it alone,” Kasole said. “This victory is due to a collective effort by the boxers, the coaching staff and the Police administration. We prepared well and the facilitation was good; as we prepared senior team for the East African Police Games, we trained this Cadets team and it has paid off.”

Police gathered 26 points to win the Elites category while UPDF managed just 18. Kasole will thank captain Dan Lwebuga, Hakim Kyagaba, Hamuza Latigo, among others who collected valuable points in the week-long championship.

Equally, Police benefitted from Lukanga’s dismal show. By the final day, Lukanga, the defending champions, left the title contention to Police, Cobap and UPDF.

Most attribute Lukanga’s fall to an understaffed coaching team, after most coaches and boxers reverted to their smaller clubs leaving Lukanga depleted. Others say the apparent fairness in judges’ decisions, nowadays, also costs Lukanga, a club that was accused of influencing officials.

But Lukanga’s coach Isaac ‘Zebra’ Ssenyange refutes all that. Instead, he counter accused the judges of bias.

“I have recorded some of the fights in which the judges’ controversial decisions are against my boxers and those judges could be punished,” he said. Kampala High School, for the first time won the Youths trophy on 22 points, while Lukanga came second. Lukanga also surrendered the Juniors trophy to Cobap, who garnered 32 points.

Uganda

Sheikh, Five Others Charged With Aiding Terrorism

Six people, including jailed Sheikh Yahaya Mwanje, have been arraigned before Buganda Road Court on charges of murder… Read more »

Kenyan Muslims Mark Idd-Ul-Adha

By Galgalo Bocha and Mohamed Ahmed

Millions of Kenyan Muslims on Friday joined their brethren across the globe to conduct this year’s Idd-Ul-Adha prayers.

Men clad in robes and women in veils together with their children braced a sunny morning to conduct the special prayers, as prescribed by Prophet Mohammed (SAW), at open grounds across the country.

FEAST

Idd is an Arabic word that means feast or festival, and Adha means sacrifice.

The holy feast is not to be confused with Eid-ul-Fitr, which is marked at the end of the holy month of Ramadhan, which comes earlier.

In Mombasa, Kenya’s Chief Kadhi Sheikh Ahmed Muhdhar and Kilifi Kadhi Sheikh Twalib Bwana led thousands of faithful in the special prayers.

The ceremony at Ronald Ngala Primary school ground was led by Sheikh Mahmoud Mustwafa.

The congregational prayers were also held at Tononoka, Likoni Caltex and Mvita grounds among other areas of the coastal city.

HOLIDAY

Sheikh Muhdhar and Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir, who also attended the prayers, termed as “discrimination” failure by acting interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i not to gazette Idd -Ul-Adha festival a national public holiday.

Addressing reporters after the prayers, Sheikh Muhdhar said the state should not discriminate Kenyans on the basis of religion.

“There should be uniform public holiday covering all faiths in the country,” said Sheikh Muhdhar in response to questions from journalists.

However, he urged Kenyans Muslims not to discriminate their non-Muslim neighbours while sharing Idd goodies.

SERMONS

“This celebration is about sharing food, meat and other pleasantries with your neighbours,” he said.

On his side, Mr Nassir said Dr Fred Matiang’i failed to use his prerogative to declare the event a public holiday.

“It is the interior CS who has all the powers to declare public holiday. We hope that will be a thing of the past with the proposed legislation,” said Mr Nassir.

Sheikh Mustwafa, who led the prayers before delivering sermons, described the Idd-ul-Adha as the grand Islamic festival celebrated for three consecutive days compared to Idd-ul-Fitr, only celebrated for a day.

SACRIFICE

“This Idd is a commemoration of Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his only son Ismail but Allah sent down a fat ram averting Prophet Ismail from being slaughtered,” said Sheikh Mustwafa.

He said as remembrance of the event, Muslims are duty bound to slaughter an animal as a sacrifice but cautioned faithful against cruelty towards animals.

The clerics urged Muslims to share meat with their non-Muslim brothers and sisters, including Christians and Jews, as signs of goodwill.

The festival marks the end of hajj, a pilgrimage undertaken by millions of Muslims each year to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

PEACE

The pilgrims on Thursday spent the whole day on Mt Arafah seeking God’s forgiveness for the past and future sins.

After Idd-ul-Adha prayers at Mbaruk Mosque, Ambassador Sheikh Mohmmed Dor led faithful in praying for the country to remain peaceful after the judgment on the presidential petition.

“Whatever the outcome of the case, our country (should) remain peaceful and we continue with our daily lives,” said Sheikh Dor.

Additional Reporting by Abdulrahman Sheriff

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