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Luweero Town Council Launches Crackdown on Churches

Paul Mukungu, the LCIII Chairperson of Luweero town explains that in the exercise, the town council will close any Pentecostal church that does not meet requirements stipulated in Public Health Act, National Physical Planning Standards and Guidelines and town council bylaws, among other regulations.
Rural Evangelical Church is among the churches which authorities in Luweero want to thier services streamlined.

Audio 5

Authorities in Luweero Town Council have launched an exercise that seeks to streamline the operations of Pentecostal churches in the area.

The town council has already issued guidelines suspending overnight prayers and tasked all churches to register with village, parish and sub county councils detailing information about their foundation and the services they offer.

Paul Mukungu, the LCIII Chairperson of Luweero town explains that in the exercise, the town council will close any Pentecostal church that does not meet requirements stipulated in Public Health Act, National Physical Planning Standards and Guidelines and town council bylaws, among other regulations.

Mukungu says that the local authorities are overwhelmed by mushrooming churches some of which are a threat to their parishioners and neighbors. There are 87 Pentecostal churches spread in 19 zones in Luweero Town Council. The same area has three mosques, one Catholic Church and one Anglican Church.

Some of the churches, located in residential areas, have been accused of noise pollution and inconvenience.

// Cue in: "the pastors…

Cue out;…preach to followers"//

// Cue in: (Luganda) "mukimanyi bulungi…

Cue out;…ey'enjawulo"//

Authorities also want to crackdown on churches that are campaigning against government programmes and discourage sick people from seeking medical attention. Savannah Regional Police Commander Edward Kyaligonza says activities by some churches are putting people's lives at risk.

// Cue in: "As far as….

Cue out;…prayed"//

Cue in: (Luganda) "naye olw'embeera ….

Cue out;…mu buzibu"//

However, the exercise has drawn mixed reactions from pastors and their followers. Pastor Morris Kigongo of the Inter Christian Born Again Church, Kiyenge zone welcomed the exercise saying that it will help them to kick out fake pastors that are misleading the masses for personal gain.

Cue in: " tulina okwawula…

Cue out;…munda misege"//

Amos Nayepe, a preacher at Kasana Piida Trinity Church says the operation is uncalled for. He adds that instead, local authorities should be more bothered about the operation of discotheques and bars. Nayepe adds that is unfair to stop overnight prayers which promote discipline and allow discotheques which promote promiscuity in society.

Robinah Nakate, a member of Full Gospel Church says that such actions contravene provisions for freedom of worship enshrined in the Constitution.

Pastors have since asked the town council to stay the crackdown pending a meeting to be held on Friday May 19.