By PATRICK JARAMOGI
KAMPALA, Uganda|SHIFTMEDIA| Some church leaders have been accused of fueling graft through demands for sowing from worshippers.
The drought that hit churches in Uganda after their services were shut down during the lockdown due to Covid-19 has left many to now forcefully demand for the ‘seed’
“The fight against corruption needs a concerted effort at all levels, but where churches are fueling corruption, we need prayers,” said Fredrick Kawooya the Project manager Democracy Governance Facility (DGF).
Kawooya a leading church member (names withheld) said he was purtubed when some of the top church leaders from his church suggested in a meeting that politicians be allowed to visit the church and campaign so they can ‘sow’.
“They said this is December, it is that time of the year when we need to harvest big from these people,” Kawooya told the participants at this years’ Anti Corruption Convention held at the Royal Suites Hotel in Kampala on Friday.
Kawooya noted that these very politicians are the ones who are corrupt. “So inviting them to churches to contribute what they have stolen is promoting corruption. What is funny is that the churches don’t bother to ask where these big donations and ‘seed’ is coming from.” he said.
A recent survey conducted in prominent churches in Kampala indicated that as the churches grassed for 7 solid months, with many closing shop due to accumulated rent arrears, the few surviving ones are taking advantage of the opening to fleece the congregation.
“I am hating church. Each time i go to my church, my pastor spends more time telling us we should sow heavy seeds,” said a Christian who goes to a popular church in Makerere.
“I have faith yes, and believe in miracles, but for heavens sake you cant tell me that in just three weeks, those who don’t have cars, houses, land, visas fees, tuition etc will get them if they sow highly, this to me is fleecing the public,” said the born-again christian.
The government first allowed churches to open for only 70 worshippers before increasing the number to 200.
But most churches now accommodate more than the recommended 200, and hold between 3- 4 services, on Sundays as a means of attracting more numbers and more “seed”
One church we shall not name has four services (7am, 830am, 10am, and 11-1pm). Many we shall not name, here, but have reported to the National COVID19 Taskforce and security are illegally holding night prayers, way past the curfew time. But worse, again the SOPs are ‘very’ abused.
Church goers don’t wear masks, don’t distance, neither do they sanitize. To them, “God will protect”
This comes at a time when over 23,000 cases have tested positive for COVID 19, and 207 deaths.
The latest statistics done on Sunday reported 701 new cases in a single day, the highest ever.
Kawooya urged the churches to stop confusing Christians especially politicians by demanding that they sow what may be stolen money due to corruption.
“We must address corruption urgently. Money that is supposed to go to development is taken by the corrupt. The Church should be leading in this fight and not allow itself to be used to launder money. You are taking money whose source is not known,” he said.
Dr.Joseph Serwadda the Presiding Apostle at the Ndeeba based Victory Church has always warned churches to obey the laid down SOPs. Serwadda who is oversees over 20000 churches babe pastors countrywide said if churches don’t abide by the SOPs many lives would be lost and they would shut them again.
“COVID19 is real dear Christian’s, let’s wash our hands, sanitize, social distance and wear masks. People are dying. I wouldn’t love to preach to a congregation that is sick,” warned Dr. Serwadda.