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Church Asks Gov’t to Intervene in Minister's Attack on Clergy

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On Monday evening, the Provincial Secretary, Rev. Can. Capt. William Ongeng also issued a statement against the minister for his alleged attack on the clergymen. He said that even if the minister had legitimate issues against the church, he should have used legitimate means to resolve them.
Musa Ecweru-courtsey photo

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The Province of the Church of Uganda has condemned the attack by the State Minister for Disaster Preparedness, Musa Ecweru on church leaders.

On Saturday, Minister Ecweru in the company of his bodyguard, Juma Odiope reportedly beat up three clergies for allegedly encroaching on his land located at Wera Town Council.

The assaulted clergymen included Rev. Simon Peter Olato, the Parish Priest of Wera Church of Uganda and his two lay readers; Benjamin Otasono and Simon Peter Eriku of Aten and St. John churches respectively. By Monday the three were still admitted at St. Peter’s Medical Centre, Soroti Diocese health facility located in Soroti City.

On Monday, the bishop of Soroti Diocese, Rt. Rev. Kosea Odongo expressed shock at the conduct of the minister and called the appointing authority to intervene. He said the conduct of the minister doesn’t reflect the statesmanship and leadership bestowed on Minister Ecweru.

On Monday evening, the Provincial Secretary, Rev. Can. Capt. William Ongeng also issued a statement against the minister for his alleged attack on the clergymen. He said that even if the minister had legitimate issues against the church, he should have used legitimate means to resolve them.

“We call upon the aggressors to seek peaceful means of settling disputes, and government to ensure that all victims are allowed to file police reports regardless of who has victimized them,” the statement reads in part.

The Provincial Secretary also challenged the appointing authority to consider the character of elected leaders before entrusting them with high positions in service.

“Ugandans deserve public officials who understand their calling as servants, not as entitled terrorists who load it over their constituents”, the statement ends.

However, Minister Ecweru in an interview with a  local radio station in Soroti said that the land in question belongs to Wera Seed Secondary School, adding that an agreement had been reached by both the church and the sub-county leadership on the same. Ecweru revealed that there are some individuals hiding in the church with very wicked actions.

He insists that no land will be taken by the church. The minister revealed that land issues with the church started during the reign of former bishop of Soroti, Rt. Rev. George William Erwau when the church allegedly claimed about eight acres of land but the community protested. He adds that the said piece of land was supposed to host dormitories for the Seed school.

Ateso//Cue in; “Alupok nu Ekanisa…

Cue out…nu arokok noi.”//

Capt. Mike Mukula, the NRM National Vice Chairperson for Eastern Uganda has called for a dialogue between the sitting Bishop of the Soroti Diocese and the minister.

“I have requested the retired Bishops of Bukedi and Soroti Dioceses, Rt. Rev. Nicodemus Okille Engwalas, Rt. Rev. Charles Ebitu Obaikol and Bishop John Eitu of Global Harvest Church to mediate in this matter. This can be handled at home. We need peace and forgiveness," he said.