By Haji Nsereko Mutumba
Last week on Thursday 14th, the State Minister of Health Sarah Opendi clad in a Nikab (an Islamic veil) stormed Naguru-China Friendship Hospital and caught two health workers in the act of soliciting for bribes from patients before offering them services, which should be free.
Much as we laud her for taking action against corrupt medical workers, the Minister’s decision to turn an Islamic dress code into attire for her covert mission has not gone down well with in the Muslim fraternity.
In the Holy Quran Chapter 33 Verse 59, Allah says; “O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves [part] of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known and not be abused. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful”.
It was therefore wrong for Hon. Opendi, a known Christian to put an Islamic face on such a sensitive issue. Much as we are living is a country where people are free to dress any way they like, there are special attires that are meant for special occasions.
That is why combat soldiers do not dress like Priests; just as a Priest cannot preside over Mass in Police uniform.
The Minister’s act will undoubtedly damage the patient-doctor relations for Muslim women who will be viewed with suspicion.
It may open a trend in which even people with bad motives will use the same dress code to get what they want.
It also makes me wonder whether the minister has faith in the national spying agencies. The minister just needed to tip off the security agencies so that they could deploy not just in Naguru Hospital but in other public health facilities because it is public knowledge that soliciting bribes by health workers is the order of the day in such facilities.
It is my hope that such an act will not happen again bearing in mind the fact that it is an insult to Muslims and their faith.
The Writer is the Public Relations Officer of Uganda Muslim Supreme Council