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Masaka Diocese Struggling to Contain Church Break-ins :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Masaka Diocese Struggling to Contain Church Break-ins

In such incidents, the parishes have been robbed in almost a similar manner, where thugs have forced themselves into the Churches, before accessing the sacristy; (the most sacred space in the Church) and stealing money found in alms boxes.
11 Apr 2024 15:40

Audio 2

The parishioners and priests in Masaka diocese are struggling to stop break-ins in churches. 

In the recent past, the diocese has registered repeated incidents that involved unknown thugs who have raided and robbed Churches in the different parishes, leaving the parishioners and priests concerned. 

The latest robbery affected Misojjo sub parish Church, Katimba Parish in Sembabule district, where thugs broke into the Church on Tuesday night and stole a new public address system equipment, a generator, a sound system, two new sets of uniforms for the Church choir among other valuables.  

Last year, several other churches were broken into. They include St Joseph Lwaggulwe Parish in the Kannamukaaka sub-county in Masaka district, Our Lady of St Carmel Bethlehem Parish, and St Mary Muzeeyi Mpambire Parish Churches both in Kyotera district. 

The others are St Jude Parish Church Lukaya in Kalungu district, and Our Lady of Peace Parish Kasozi in Rakai district; one of the most ancient churches in Masaka diocese and Uganda. 

In such incidents, the parishes have been robbed in almost a similar manner, where thugs have forced themselves into the Churches, before accessing the sacristy; (the most sacred space in the Church) and stealing money found in alms boxes.

Edward Kimbugwe, a Catechist at Misojjo sub parish which was robbed on Tuesday, says the incidents have caused a lot of discomfort among the congregation and priests, wondering about the actions of the criminal gangs that are targeting places of worship.

He observes that in all these incidents, the thieves have taken away hard-earned valuables that are significant in the Church prayers and worship sessions; which properties are lost without any trace. 

He bemoans that such robberies frustrate efforts towards building and developing their churches, thereby calling upon parents to emphasize the proper upbringing of their children.  

 

  //Cue in: “twasanga nga nzijji….    

Cue out: ….mukaseera kano.”//  
Reverend Father Joseph Ssemwanga, the Katimba Parish Priest observes these robberies are a grave violation of the sanctity of the church and demoralized the congregation that fundraises for the stolen items.  

He says that they had improved the safety of the church by reinforcing the doors and window shutters, but the thugs still maneuvered and broke in. According to him, the thugs could be members of the congregations that attend church mass, which allows them to study the setup of the Churches and accordingly plan the robberies. 

  

//Cue in: “emizindaalo gy’etweyambisa…..  

Cue out: ….n’oyo mubbi.”//  
Gertrude Nalukenge, one of the Parishioners in Katimba Parish argues that it has been difficult to stop these incidents because they have not succeeded at apprehending the culprits, such that it serves as an example to other wrongdoers.

 

She argues that while the diocese had advised church committees to install surveillance cameras and construction of perimeter fences, many parishes are still struggling to get the required financial resources.    

Earlier in 2022, seven more Churches also suffered similar robberies in Masaka diocese.  

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