The 25th Annual Report on the State of Human Rights And Freedoms In Uganda In 2022 has exposed how top clerics sexually abuse, extort and impoverish their believers.
The 25th Human Rights Annual Report for the year 2022 was compiled by Uganda Human Rights Commission and was publicly launched on Friday 19th May, 2023.
The report defines Religion as a human relation to divinity, reverence, worship, obedience and submission to the mandates and precepts of supernatural or superior beings.
The report notes that the right to freedom of religion or belief is guaranteed in a number of core international, including regional human rights instruments and under customary international laws.
It further highlights that Uganda is a multi-religious country with various coexisting beliefs and practices and the freedom of religion is enshrined in the constitution which guarantees the right to practice any religion and manifest it through worship, observance, practice and teaching.
According to the report, Uganda has a population of approximately 40.9 million people of which 86.4% identify as Christians with Pentecostals who believe in Jesus Christ as the son of God accounting for 30% of the total population.
Other religions include Muslims, African tradition, Salvation Army, Bahai, Jehovah’s Witness, Presbyterian, Mormons, Jews, Buddhist and non-religions which account for 1.7% of the total population.
According to the report, in 2014, Catholics accounted for 39.3%, Anglicans where 23.0%, Moslems where 13.7%, Pentecostals or Born Again where 11.1%, Seventh-Day Adventists were 1.7%, believers on traditional were 0.1, Baptist were 0.3%, Orthodox were 0.1%, Others were 1.4% and those without any Religion were 0.2%.
The report however mentions a number of concerns where clerics are taking advantage of innocent people who are trying to understand their religion by manipulating them which has resulted in bankruptcy and further monetary issues to the believers.
The report pines Pentecostal clerics who take themselves as celebrities and want to live lavish lifestyles thus placing their monetary hunger for material gains above salvation and surviving on church members’ donations.
“However, whenever monetary donations become a frequent point of discussion and always a point of emphasis, it is possible that these religious authority figures are less concerned with spreading the gospel and more interested in lining their own pockets,” the report highlights.
The report adds, “This is especially more likely whenever monetary donations are stressed as effective means to garner favour in the eyes of God and increase the chances of getting into heaven.
“In many cases, this is a blatant act of manipulation and exploitation of vulnerable church members’ reverence for God and their hope for a fruitful afterlife.”
The report adds that Born Again pastors have succeeded in portraying themselves as tiny-gods whose words are to be taken as gospel and whose demands are to be obeyed with both haste and minimal question.
The report explains that the Born Again pastors behave in that way because of the absence of a regulatory framework like it is for traditional religions like Christianity (Catholics and Protestants) and Islam who have laws requiring leaders to complete training before taking charge of their congregations.
The report discloses that such trainings teaches leaders in these traditional religions policies including the conducts of priests and leaders as well as mechanisms for managing complaints and conflicts unlike some Born-Again pastors, teachers, apostles, prophets, bishops and evangelists.
The report also accuses religious leaders of promoting gender discrimination, exclusion and inequality against women and girls.
This is done through presenting negative stereotypes about women and reinforcing traditional views about their subordination to men and this is not limited to any particular religion or region.
“The discrimination against women in religious doctrines and in the practice of religion, including the refusal to admit women as priests has had a pervasive effect throughout society of maintaining the belief in the inferiority of women,” the report states.
It adds, “In many religions throughout the world, including the Roman Catholic, Mormon, Orthodox, Jewish and Islam, women are denied equal opportunity to learn and teach religious knowledge which is available to men. Women cannot be ordained or given leadership positions in most religion.”
It further gives the example of the Jewish men who begin each day with a ritualised prayer thanking God for not having made them women and in Orthodox Judaism where women can never be rabbis or mingle with men at prayer in the synagogue.
“Church leaders are on the frontline in attacking women and their bodies often become specific targets for religious groups to exercise control and reinforce power dynamics.”
The report established that most family-related issues have a faith dimension including marriage, divorce, custody and inheritance.
The report cited the form of racism where in the Islamic religion, tradition and culture are seen as a threat and often lead to provocation, hostility and intolerance through threatening, harassment, abuse, incitement and intimidation of Muslims.
The report noted that in 2021, the Uganda Muslim Youth Development Forum reported to the Commission that some Muslims are experiencing employment discrimination.
They cites a case in which a telecom company dismissed a staffer after she ignored instructions not to wear a veil at work.
The report further cites a number of complaints from Muslims accusing the government of persecuting them over involvement in terrorism acts across the country.
“It is discriminatory for the government to always raid mosques and violently arrest sheikhs without following the law and detaining them incommunicado without producing them in courts of law,” the report quotes Kira Municipality legislator Asuman Basalirwa.
The report also mentions the ongoing infightings among Pentecostal churches which are mainly caused by power struggle dynamics within the religious leadership, differences in ideological inclinations and the desire to dominate the religious space.
The report also shows that churches have established media houses such as radios and televisions which they use as platforms to attack each other.
They further state that in some religious practices, worshippers have to make public confessions of private matters, particularly family conflicts, as well as make public their illnesses or troubles to obtain deliverance which violates their rights to privacy that is enshrined in the 1995 Constitution as Amended.
The report shows that a number of complaints have been filed at the commission and at police against churches who usually surpass their limits of freedom of worship and infringe on other people’s rights especially churches near residential areas where the noise they make violates other people’s right to a clean and healthy environment.
The commission was concerned over the frequent reports that everybody wants to start a church or drinking joint in residential areas without any plan to regulate noise during the day and night when people are sleeping and working.
The report adds that people’s rights to form families have also been violated because young people are forced to have weddings which has raised gender-based violence in communities.
“Some families break up because of the difference in opinion of worship by children in respect of where their parents grew up worshiping from and wedded from,” the report states.
The report advised that places of worship need to be regulated because many people resort to churches for redress due to the biting levels of poverty and limited health services where majority of Ugandans are unable to meet their medical expenses particularly for long-term illnesses.
The report states, “Some church compounds and pastors’ homes have been turned into hospitals with patients making makeshift shelters as they await their healing and deliverance. Some clerics are accused of discouraging their followers from taking their medication and others engage in prolonged fasting periods that are harmful to their health.”
The commission established incidents of coercion in converting people to various religions that have also amounted to the loss of properties which is done through the promise of wealth and influence.
“With the high unemployment and poverty levels some people have become victims of this coercion and there are reports of alleged exhortation for scholarships and better lives,” They disclose.
They add, “Pastors are accused of fleecing believers of their hard earned money to sow seeds for better life and this is lack of transparency and accountability of millions of monies collected from believers seldom complain of these manipulations since their faith prohibits them from touching God’s anointed.”
The commission recommended that president Museveni’s government should put a regulatory framework for religious institutions to curb the abuse, manipulation, exploitation and extortion of followers.
The further recommended that the government should ensure that economic empowerment programmes targeting the youth are equally distributed to prevent religious extremism in the country.
The Commission also asked government to embark on awareness programmes to prevent the exploitation and abuse of people exercising their freedom of religion.
By Sengooba Alirabaki
KISAKA’S ROTTEN KCCA: Panic As More KCCA Bosses Face Arrest Over Giving Bribes, Asking For Sex In Exchange For Jobs…
As flamboyant city lawyer David Balondemu who also the Kampala District Land Board is still on remand at Luzira prison over multimillion fraud cases, the mighty Grapevine has learnt that more Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) bosses will soon face arrest over giving bribes and offering sex in exchange for jobs.
On Wednesday, Buganda Road Grade One Magistrate Winnie Nankya held Balondemu’s application for bail while delivering her ruling on after an emergency application filed by the State led by Ivan Kyazze.
State claimed that the accused person forged some of the documents his lawyers presented including some former East African Assemble legislator Fred Mukasa Mbidde.
He based on the affidavit of the Chief Executive Officer of Kampala Hospital Limited Dr. Peter Kibuuka who claimed that the said document indicating that the accused person was going for surgery at their hospital was not authored by his hospital.
State alleges that the accused together with others between the months of November 2022 and April 2023, at Bloom Advocates with intent to defraud, obtained $553,000 from KG Unlimited LLC by falsely pretending that they were going to award it a contract of supplying agricultural drone sprayers and fertilizers which was false. Balondemu denied all the charges.
Balondemu was re-arrested last week few weeks after being released from Luzira prison on allegations that between the months of March and November 2021 at the offices of Balondemu and Company Advocates along Parliamentary Avenue in Kampala City, he obtained US Dollars 600,000 by falsely pretending that they were selling 53 kilograms of Gold to Hyun UK Kim a Korean investor whereas not.
Highly placed sources at Brig. Gen. Henry Isoke’s State House Anti-Corruption Unit revealed that Balondemu is one of the many bosses at KCCA who have been under investigation for the past two years.
These sources boasted that all the people that Balondemu has been working with to defraud investors are going to be handled in piecemeal.
A KCCA insider disclosed to theGrapevine that Balondemu still has over three criminal files set to be forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Justice Jane Frances Abodo for sanctioning and advised him not to waste his money and time on applying for several court bails.
Sources said that very soon, another top boss at KCCA who is a lawyer is going to be arrested after DPP gathered overwhelming evidence that he paid a bribe in exchange for the job.
“He is currently sitting on one of the boards at KCCA but to be appointed, he paid Shs70m to one of the political heads at KCCA. He also gave another Shs40m to the same political head which he shared with some KCCA City Hall councilors to soften his way to the office.
This is the reason why there is a lot of corruption at KCCA because such people want to recover their money through fraudulent deals including giving away public land,” a source said.
Sources said that politicians at KCCA are using their Personal Assistants to receive bribe.
They gave the example of a Chinese national who has already recorded a statement at State House Anti-Corruption Unit narrating how a Personal Assistant to a politician at City Hall defrauded him of over Shs3bn.
He was taken to his boss’s office at City Hall to show him that even the boss knows what was going on.
Detectives are also investigating a male boss at KCCA technical wing who has been made it a business to sleep with young girls especially those from the university after promising them jobs.
Sources said that the said boss was using the same tricks at one of the government agency where he was working before joining KCCA.
In her report, the Inspector General of Government Beti Namisango Kamya declared ED Dorothy Kisaka led KCCA as one of the top government agencies with high levels of corruption.
Kampala affairs State Minister Joseph Kabuye Kyoffatogabye recently pined top technical wing bosses of fueling the vice by sleeping on the job to buy popularity among the population.
By Sengooba Alirabaki
Lubaga South Legislator Mukasa On Suicide Watch After Landlord Throws Him Out Of Rented House, Puts His Properties On Sale To Survive …
Flamboyant Lubaga South legislator Aloysius Talton Gold Mukasa is on suicide watch with money lenders breathing down his neck.
His woes escalated recently when his landlord threatened to throw him out of his house along Entebbe road over delayed rent payments.
Mukasa is among the National Unity Platform(NUP) legislators who have not enjoyed their stay in parliament and is always on the run, hiding from moneylenders to elude arrest him over none payment.
His woes started in Court where he spent millions of shillings to settle the legal battle instituted against him by his immediate political rival Princess Eugenia Nassolo who was contesting his education and accusing him of committing election offences.
Nasolo hired some of the best lawyers in Kampala who included; Caleb Alaka, Samuel Muyizi Mulindwa and Kenneth Paul Kakande who convinced her to settle the matter out of Court, where a juicy deal was reached.
This deal punched big holes in Mukasa’s pockets.
Mukasa also hired Justine Ssemuyaba another serious lawyer who he paid huge sums of money in legal fees to represent him.
It should also be noted that Mukasa was among the candidates who spent a lot of money during campaigns and sources close to him claim that he spent more than Shs5bn in campaigns including facilitating the process of winning the NUP ticket.
Sources divulged that Mukasa thought that he was going to get a lot of money in politics by cutting deals which would help him to cover the gaps in his businesses among which included FACO which is dealing in solving the problems of manhood among men, changing women’s figures and DX4.
However, news reaching our political desk shows that the landlord on the building which has been housing FACO for years in Ndeeba along Masaka road has thrown him out of his building over delayed rent payments.
Sources added that Mukasa first sold his primary school and used part of the money to pay the loans to survive money lenders who were on his neck.
Recently, he sold his Ambulance car which he bought during the campaigns to Rhino Funeral Management Company.
He also sold the vehicle truck which he bought to help his people to solve the problem of water especially at the functions and sources claim that he sold it to Muhammad Muwanga Kivumbi the Butambala County legislator at Shs53m.
Kivumbi was not interested in the track but he bought it to save his fellow legislator and he added it to his two water tracks in the constituency.
Sources said that the big problem that Mukasa currently has is to settle the landlord at home because he is going to be embarrassed if he throws him out of his house with his wife and entire family.
His competitors claim that Mukasa was among the NUP legislators who were facilitated by the State to infiltrate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu’s camp during the 2021 general election.
theGrapevine made a number of efforts to talk to Mukasa for a comment by making several phone calls to his five known phone numbers but they were all not going through.
By Levi Yashayahu
City Businessman, King Ronnie Court Battle For UNRA Shs6bn Compensation Cash Goes To Court Of Appeal…
The Lands Division of the High Court judge Flavia Nassuna Matovu has allowed controversial city businessman Dr. Muhammad Buwule Kasasa to appeal against her ruling at the Court of Appeal.
In her ruling, justice Nassuna noted that there are substantial questions of law that warrant consideration by the upper court.
She explained that it is fair for her to allow Dr. Kasasa to appeal her ruling to the court of appeal and argue out his case and see whether he can convince the Court of Appeal justices to allow his application to withdraw Shs6bn which he is fighting for with the Kabaka of Buganda Ronald Muwenda Mutebi’s family.
In July, Justice Nassuna dismissed Kasasa’s application on ground that he cannot allow him to withdraw the Shs6bn which Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) deposited on the bank accounts of the judiciary.
UNRA secured a court order to deposit the money to the judiciary bank accounts after both Dr. Kasasa and King Ronnie’s family claimed ownership of the land at Mutungo hill where Kampala-Jinja Expressway which is under construction is going to pass.
In his application, Kasasa insisted that he is the rightful owner of the 640 acres of land comprising Kyadondo Block 237 plots 178, 388 at Mutungo in Nakawa Division Kampala City.
Dr. Kasasa through his lawyers lead by Simon Kizza claims that they defeated King Ronnie’s family who also double as the Administrators of Sir Edward Mutesa Walugembe’s Estate who are; Prince David Kintu Wasajja, Princess Dorothy Nasolo and Princess Sarah Kagere at the Court of Appeal.
He submited that Justice Elizabeth Musoke, Justice Christopher Gashirabake and Justice Eva Luswata declared him the rightful owner of the contested land which gives him the green light to get the compensation because King Ronnie’s family did not appeal the decision.
He stated in his application that he is very sick and he needs the said money to get medication abroad and to cater for his family.
However, King Ronnie’s family lawyers of K&K Advocates led by Usaama Sebuufu protested the application.
By Grapevine Reporter
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