22 June 2010

Uganda: Church Loses Libel Case

Kampala — The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God last week lost a defamation and libel case against ex-member Frances Adroa and Pastor Solomon Male, who heads Arise for Christ Church.

The case arose after a story in the Daily Monitor of April 26, 2007.

Adroa, a self-confessed AIDS patient, claimed that senior pastors at the Kampala church, which she joined in June 2005, tricked her into giving them a car, with promises of healing her.

The implicated pastors were Gilson Costa, Gerald Nkayi, and Patrick Maserere.

Male was also sued following remarks he allegedly made about the entrenched fraud and false teachings within some churches after Adroa sought his guidance.

However, the Mengo Court grade one magistrate, Jolly Nkore, said: "I accordingly found that the statement did not affect the plaintiff. The plaintiff was not affected by the article."

Nkore asked the parties to bear their own costs in the suit.

She dismissed the counter-claim by Adroa for the church to pay sh3.9m to enable her repair the damaged car, saying it was given out voluntarily.

Nkore said accepting the counter-claim would create a tricky precedent where people would start claiming for their donations from churches in the event that their prayers yield nothing.

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