By Alaso Alice Asianut
Since the announcement of the lockdown in March, I have marshalled every bit of personal energy to create the benefit of doubt or the good will to support the President’s directives.
Over time, I have had to swallow hard when things have not showed any tangible benefits as infections continued to increase. Of course I have never been under the illusion that the lockdown per say would stop the spread, but I believed that the time created and the possible slow down would give government time to fix especially the ailing health system. I had my doubts nonetheless that a failure of 35 years would be rectified in sixty days. But as they commonly say in times of adversity, we have the choice to take positive actions.
Unfortunately, it hasn’t happened as I wished and instead Frontline workers are reportedly catching the virus for lack of basic personal protective equipment. This is very disheartening and totally demotivating to a poorly paid person who ends up being confronted with avoidable risk .
President Yoweri Museveni’s Monday address and it’s new measures are however the subject of my write up today.
The President announced easing of public transportation and the opening of shopping malls among others. The President shockingly maintained restriction on worship places.
Your Excellency, I want to address you on the error in this directive to keep worship places closed:
1) Sir, in case you do not know, it is the Lord that has preserved us this far, with no coronavirus deaths to this day. Give God the Glory. Not our non functional Health system. It is by His Grace that Uganda has been preserved.
2) The religious have cooperated in the lockdown. But now that places with similar characteristics or with greater potential risk have been allowed to reopen, there is no justification to keep worship places closed.
3) Compared with a bus traveling from Abim district to Kampala, keeping passengers confined for ten hours in one small place, most average Ugandan Churches hold services of less than three hours once a week. Some are even more spacious than an average bus.
4) The very passengers in the buses and taxis are the ones who go to church and mosques etc. The Coronavirus is not tied around places of worship.
6) Many of these worship places serve a given locality and a known congregation. Every visitor is easily and often identified. Unlike malls, buses, hotels etc.
7) Perhaps your Excellency, the president has not been appraised on the stress, emotional and psychological suffering that people have experienced during this lock down. There is urgent need to rebuild the human spirit on Ugandans and this can only be done through prayer and the Word of God.
8) Elsewhere Worship has been classified as an essential service and places of worship have opened with essential guidelines to follow. Simply ask the religious Leaders to provide an adherence plan and you will see how easy it is to ensure implementation. This has been done in South Africa, USA, Tanzania and can be done better in Uganda.
9) I am conscious that there could be people who don’t want us to worship God. To them the Lord says; let my people go, that they may worship me.
The consequences of holding back worship without any justification were well illustrated to Pharaoh in the book of Exodus chapters 2 up to chapter 13.
Finally, since buses and malls are opening on the 4th, I request you to allow places of worship to open beginning this Friday, 5th June, 2020.
The Bible in Exodus 5:1 and chapter 9:1 says ‘let my people go’….that they can worship me.
Your Excellency, please do not harden your heart, let the houses of worship re-open this week.
ALASO ALICE ASIANUT
A worshiper of the Living God.
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