Despite religious differences, over 100 Ugandan Christians living in Boston have raised sh12.6m to revamp Namayiba Mosque, in Nakisunga sub county, Mukono district.
The mosque built about 80 years ago, is the main mosque for the Muslim community in Namayiba Kisilaamu village, Nakisunga Sub County.
According to Geoffrey Nsereko Simple, the chairman organizing committee Uganda North American Association (UNAA), during one of his holiday visits to Uganda last year, he was touched by the dilapidated mosque structure which had remained unfinished for over 20 years.
"I was driving around the village when I saw the mosque in a terrible state, this moved me and I promised myself to do something for my community in Uganda after consulting the mosque leaders on what was needed," said Nsereko, who was born in Namayiba.
He explained that the completion of the mosque had come to a standstill due to lack of sh11.9m to buy materials for the construction work.
Nsereko who is based in Boston added that after getting the budget for the required materials, he approached Ugandans living in America, Canada, Japan among other countries who contributed generously towards the renovation and completion of the mosque.
Speaking during the handover of sh12.6m to the mosque authorities, Nsereko who is the director of Radio Uganda Boston said it was not easy for him to convince people to contribute towards the refurbishment of the mosque, being a non-Muslim.
“Everyone expressed concern why me a non-Muslim was the one leading the campaign to revamp a mosque, they always asked me why not it do for a church you are a Christian,” said Nsereko.
He noted that the money will be used to do plastering of the mosque, finishing of the interior and exterior of the mosque as well as flooring and painting.
Some of the Ugandans who contributed towards the Namaiba Mosque revamp project, praised Nsereko for giving back to his community.
“This is rare finding a Christian building a mosque, he has challenged all of us, it is a good gesture which we must all emulate,” said Samuel Senfuma, a Ugandan based in Boston.
Doreen Nsubuga another Ugandan based in Boston said; “It is a good thing seeing Christians like us contributing to the completion of a mosque. It brings togetherness in a way”.
The Imam Namayiba Mosque Yusuf Kasenge commended the Ugandans in the diaspora for contributing towards what he called Allah’s most cherished acts of worship by constructing a mosque.
He said the revamp, will help improve the face of the mosque and also guard it from collapsing due to heavy rains.
"We have had a problem of rains; they have in the past disrupted our prayers and also damaged the walls of our mosque. The donation will go a long way in preventing our prayer place from collapsing," he explained.
He added that over 200 worshippers throng the mosque during weekly Friday prayers.
Local radio personality Meddie Nsereko also donated 50 bags of cement to assist in the renovation of the mosque.
"I feel challenged, for one to renovate a mosque is a great move towards unity and development," he noted.
The last time the mosque underwent upgrading was after it collapsed in early 1990s. The latest round will take place in phases but the mosque will remain open to worshippers during the renovations.