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Six Arrested for Beating SDA Bishop

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According to Tumushabe, the suspects who claim to be members of different SDA Churches from the Western Field assaulted Bishop Mwebaze around 11am on Tuesday morning.
20 Mar 2019 18:20
Lydia Tumushabe

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Six people are in custody at Fort Portal police station for assaulting Samuel Mwebaze, the Western Field Seventh Day Adventist –SDA Bishop and destroying property in his office.

The Rwenzori Region Police Spokesperson, Lydia Tumushabe, identifies the suspects as Jonathan Kihumuro, Amos Mugenyi, Julius Kakwezi, Joshua Kakwezi, Moses Mutegeki and Bob Kahebwa. 

According to Tumushabe, the suspects who claim to be members of different SDA Churches from the Western Field assaulted Bishop Mwebaze around 11am on Tuesday morning.  

  //Cue in: “They gave him…  

Cue out… these people’s complaints.”//     

She says their investigations show that the suspects accuse Bishop of Mwebaze of embezzling over 30 million Shillings from the church and mismanaging the Western Field with the purpose of bringing it down.   

One of the aggrieved SDA members told URN on condition of anonymity so as to speak freely that they have learnt that Mwebaze is on a mission to drain the Western Field financially so that it can be annexed to Kasese and leave Batooro with none.

The source claimed that Mwebaze has mismanaged church funds, prays from his home area Kampala every Saturday, sleeps in expensive hotel rooms in Fort Portal instead of using church houses and declined to use the SDA Church logo on the church vehicle among other accusations.

The source adds that they are also deeply troubled by the fact that in 2016, they gave part of the SDA church land in Kamwenge to the contractors of Fort Portal – Kamwenge road, China Railway Seventh Engineering Group for use on a temporary basis as a storage site for construction materials.   

He adds that they also signed a memorandum of understanding to that effect, which partly stated that all the construction materials that remain on the site after the construction of the road will be taken by church.   

He says after the road construction, Mwebaze proposed that since they are also constructing a three floor building in Fort Portal, the materials left behind like sand and others can be transported from Kamwenge to Fort Portal for use. 

But the idea was rejected by Christians, who argued that it was cost effective to sell the materials and buy from Fort Portal. 

However, to their surprise, the source notes that Mwebaze worked with a few undisclosed leaders to transport the materials from Kamwenge to Fort Portal without their knowledge or approval.   

He also claimed that the cost of transporting the materials was inflated to Shillings 350,000 per trip yet it cost Shillings 220,000 for each of the 48 trips. 

To the Christians, this coupled with many other challenges they are facing, forced them to storm Mwebaze’s office and retrieve church property under his custody and keys and force him to leave the Western Field, something that the bishop refused forcing them to assault him.

Efforts to get a comment from Mwebaze have been futile as his office was closed and his known telephone number switched off when our reporter tried to reach him.                   

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