Four hundred Muslim pilgrims destined for the Hajj in Mecca are set to depart tomorrow after their visas were issued by the Embassy of Saudi Arabia
By Farooq Kasule
Four hundred Muslim pilgrims destined for the Hajj in Mecca are set to depart tomorrow after their visas were issued by the Embassy of Saudi Arabia.
Sheikh Abdunoor Busulwa, an official from the Uganda bureau of Hajj Affairs (UBHA) told new vision that the four hundred pilgrims will travel to Mecca Thursday using the Ethiopian Airlines.
He also advised the pilgrims who have been contacted in connection to the flight to ensure that they keep time and maintain the set laws at the airport.
Meanwhile, over 100 aspiring pilgrims who missed their flights in the past three days due to visa complications will have to pay fresh charges or wait until next year.
The Director of Quba Travel Agency, Abdulla Twawill, talks to aspiring Muslim pilgrims, waiting for their visas to travel for Hijja in Mecca, at Magoba Mosque in Kampala, September, 9, 2015. Photo by Kennedy Oryema
This is because in the event that a person misses a flight, he must make a fresh payment or pay an extra charge.
Hajj is the fifth and last pillar of Islam which is an annual event that takes place in the month of Dhul-Hajj (December), the last month of the lunar calendar.
It was prescribed to all sane wealth Muslims who can sustain them while carrying out the rituals at Mecca.
Hajji Nsereko Mutumba, the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council spokesperson also confirmed to New Vision that the big number pilgrims that were accredited for the journey will travel Thursday.
“A big delegation of the pilgrims will today in the morning head to Entebbe Airport” Mutumba said.
Conversely Sheikh Abdullah Twawiir of Quba Hijja and Umra services Wednesday held a meeting with his group at Magooba Mosque and requested them to wait for his call before they go to Entebbe Airport.
“Please wait for my call to avoid being stranded at the airport,” Twawiir said.
He implored the intending Muslim pilgrims next time to pay in time to avoid the inconveniences.
Meanwhile the Saudi embassy has refused to issue forty visas to foreigners living in Uganda asserting that foreigners should apply for visas in their countries of origin yet they had presented working permits which authorize them to travel as citizens of Uganda.
They had even paid money meant for their travel to mecca.
However in a telephone interview with Sam Omara, an official from the foreign affairs ministry said that embassies have the authority to deny some one an entry into their country. This means that the group will surely miss this year’s pilgrimage.
Friday will be the last day for Ugandan pilgrims intending to go for pilgrimage to Mecca.
Since Monday, only 70 pilgrims have departed for Mecca.
400 more pilgrims depart Thursday