Rwanda Revenue Authority yesterday handed over 14 tonnes of Quran copies to Rwanda Muslims Community (RMC) which had earlier been shortlisted among items supposed to be auctioned on January 28.
The handover took place at Customs stores in MAGERWA, the national bonded warehouse in Kigali, yesterday.
The Muslim community would have paid Rwf14 million in fees related to the storage of the Quran consignment that had spent about a year in the RRA warehouses.
However, the Government intervened and all charges were waived.
Rwanda Revenue Authority does not tax religious material but charges for storage of any goods in their warehouses.
After the hand-over, Sheikh Musa Sindayigaya, the spokesperson of Rwanda Muslims Community appreciated the waiver and government’s intervention.
“We are very thankful to the government for this. We were supposed to pay a huge amount of money for the storage because we delayed to pick up our copies of the Quran. We are happy to receive them without any charges,” Sheikh Sindayigaya said.
The copies are said to have been donated by Saudi Arabia in March 2016.
Prof. Anastase Shyaka, the CEO of Rwanda Governance Board (RGB), attributed the move to the existing strong partnership between the government and the Muslim community as is the case with other religious-based organizations in general.
Faith-based organizations fall within the RGB docket.
“I don’t think we should have holy books like Quran in an auction. They contain messages that are good for the people,” Shyaka said.
He added: “We look forward to seeing Qurans being used to spiritually educate Rwandans and have a big hand in healing their hearts. I am convinced Qurans can contribute towards building the country we want, spiritually.”
“We appreciate the current partnership between religion-based organizations and the government. The partnership with the Muslim and Christian communities is so important and strong and we want to keep it alive and even stronger,” Shyaka emphasised to Saturday Times on Friday.
Alex Mugire, the Acting Deputy Commissioner for Customs at RRA, who handed over the Quran to the leaders of the Muslim community, urged all those with goods in warehouses to pick them up in time.