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Village Chairman Jailed 3-Years for Burning Church

Watum was convicted for leading an attack on Jesus is the Living Stone Church in Gulu, which is pastored by one Okumu Batiringeya. Court heard that Watum mobilized hundreds of locals from his area on January 27, 2019, and together they burnt the church on suspicion that it was a cult.
08 Nov 2019 16:11
The Gulu High Court Sign Post -Photo by Jesse Johnson James

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The LCI chairman of Kanyagoga B Sub –Ward in Gulu Municipality Raymond Watum has been sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for leading an attack that led to the destruction of a Church.  

Watum was convicted for leading an attack on Jesus is the Living Stone Church in Gulu, which is pastored by one Okumu Batiringeya. Court heard that Watum mobilized hundreds of locals from his area on January 27, 2019, and together, they burnt the church on suspicion that it was a cult for which the area was embroiled in curses.

Okumu told the court before the judgement that the act of burning down his church has caused him untold suffering, loss and agony. 

Gulu Chief Magistrate Francis Dawa Matenga sentenced Watum to three years’ imprisonment over the offence that he described as ruthless and extreme. Two of his accomplices; Margret Alanyo and Francis Opiyo were imprisoned for one year and seven months for the same offence. 

They were also directed to construct a new Church and a compensation of 10 million Shillings to Okumu for the loss he incurred.  

Bardege Division Chairman Patrick Oola Lumumba protested the court decision saying the Church was misleading many since the way it operated was wicked. 

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According to Section 327 (a) of the Penal Code Act, any person who willfully and unlawfully sets fire to any building or structure, whether completed or not, commits a felony and is liable to imprisonment for life.

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