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.
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.