By David Serumaga
Dear Editor; When the National Resistance Movement government was attaining power in 1986 under the leadership of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, he decided not to block any religion in Uganda as it was experienced in President Idi Amini’s regime. This is because the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda under Article 29 (C) gives all the people the freedom to practice any religion and manifest such practice which shall include the right to belong to and participate in the practices of any religious body or organization in a manner consistent with this Constitution.
This has promoted the right and freedom of worship in the country and it is the reason why churches and mosques are growing and introduced every day. Respect for the religion is high from the State and all political leaders because when amendments in the Constitution comes, the NRM government cannot tamper with the freedom of worship because it is believed that religion does not only bring people towards God, but also unites, educates, impact moral discipline and transform the lives of the citizens positively.
Following the statements made by the Kampala Archbishop Dr. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga of the Kampala Archdioceses last week during the Easter celebrations, he said that there are spies within the Catholic Church that gives President Museveni wrong information and threaten to kill him (the Bishop) among others. This might be true but those are the enemies of the State who are trying to kill the longtime relationship between President Museveni and the Archbishop Lwanga.
There is no way the leader of the nation can want to kill a religious leader who is not a rebel or who has not destabilized the peace of the citizens. If there is someone who called Archbishop Lwanga threatening him to be killed, he is just blackmailing the President and he is trying to keep religious leaders into fear and break their relationship with the state.
The opposition members, who are allegedly adding fuel in words of the Archbishop about the state spying on the Archbishop, should know that every government in the whole world must have a good spy network. For this in the Catholic Church, it is shocking that the priests are the one spying on Archbishop Lwanga. This means that there are problems within the church that need church leaders bringing closer people to God and seek for solution in transforming their lives and uniting them. They should rethink of preaching to the priests themselves because some are doing an ungodly thing which betrays the church.
The relationship between the Church and the State is inseparable and it has come from far. When the NRM government was fighting to gain power between 1980-1986, it did not only use soldiers to bring peace but it also consulted religious leaders like Cardinal Emmanuel Wamala, Bishop Jonah Mukasa from Mityana (the father to Getrude Njuba) and others to influence people to support rebellion and they also acted as peace advocates. The relationship did not stop there after NRM had gained power; it has been experienced in many activities namely; physical protection to religious leaders, fundraising on many occasion with the aim of developing religious institutions, donating gifts to religious leaders, protecting worshipers from people who would attack them or destabilize their peace and freedom of worship. It is meaningless for the head of state to help in building places of worship and wish to kill those who are going lead worshipers. Those who are making this issue as a topic are just trying to be relevant in the media and public.
The issue we are experiencing now between the religion and the state is manageable which needs a round table discussion because all the two parties move together.
President, Buganda Youth Wing