By Kezia Koburungi
Houses of worship have long been flashpoints for religiously and ideologically motivated violence since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in Uganda. Now, according to Ugandans from different faiths, these attacks are symptomatic of a rise in hostility against their freedom of worship.
Yesterday, 8th-September-2021; religious leaders from different faiths and politicians asked the Constitutional Court in Kampala at Hotel Triangle, Buganda Road to reopen places of worship. This claims to be a legal challenge to the closure of places of worship which is an infringement on their constitutional right to religion, following the article 11 and 13 of the COVID-19 rule.
The challenge seems to follow similar cases brought by faith communities before Uganda’s High Court and East African Court of Justice: Under current regulations, public transportation functioning at 50%, malls, arcades and business centers being open yet the places of worship are completely closed.
The religious leaders and Members of Parliament headed by Prophet Micheal Kiganda of “Glory to Glory Ministries” in Bugolobi, Sheikeh Ssemakula Asuman from Masijid Central Kitintale, Nakawa MP Hon. Ronald Balimwezo Nsubuga, Hon. Alice Alaso, Dr. Lina Zedriga Waru Abuku, Evelyne Naikoba a Christian lawyer among others have raised in one accord for the Government of Uganda to reopen all worship centers.
These leaders say that without worship places; domestic violence, lack of hope and mysterious deaths among Ugandans has raised or increased because masses no longer have access to their spiritual leaders who would guide them, being the caliber of people they fully trust.
The human killings especially the “Bijambiya” in Masaka realistically explain that people no longer have religion in their hearts thus resort to such evil-demonic acts, therefore the leaders also claim that there is no way to bring back people from doing wrong unless churches and mosques are opened.
The National Unity Platform, Bobi Wine’s Deputy Dr. Lina Zedriga said that the country is very dirty need to go before God to be cleansed. “We would like to go to church, we would like to go to worship centers, we need God, we are very dirty, we need to be cleansed,” she exclaimed.
“Our motto says that ‘For God and my Country’, closing of churches means that you have closed the country from receiving God. It’s so unfortunate that government activities are moving on yet the most important ‘places of worship’ are restricted from operation; the Parliament of Uganda with over 500 members everyday sit in their small chambers to make sure that government’s work is operating, and also today the country is planning to host over 6000 people at Kololo to discuss the National Budget,” Nakawa MP Hon. Ronald Balimwezo Nsubuga supports and urges court petition on places of worship.
Prophet Micheal Kiganda, the leader of “Glory to Glory Ministries” in Bugolobi, in his affidavit blames Dr. Musenelo, Dr. Jane Ruth Acheng and Dr. Diana Atwine for their quick decisions before analyzing.
The Prophet said, “How did you conclude that actually place of worship are super spreaders of COVID-19, we want you to give us a report that someone went to the mosque or prayed and died. Our moslem friends even before pandemic have always been washing their hands and legs: This is just a demonic script of no prayers and schools not being opened!”
The reopening of places of worship; synagogues, churches and mosques is a duty guaranteed by religions, human values, laws and international agreements. Every attempt to attack or threaten places of worship is a deviation from the teachings of religions as well as a clear violation of the law according to article 11 and 13 of COVID-19 rule in Uganda.
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