2 June 2012

Uganda: Born Again Leaders Blast Counterparts

Leaders of the National Organization of Pentecostal Churches in churches in Uganda have attacked bishops and other spiritual heads for calling on President Yoweri Museveni to quit power and for the restoration of Presidential term limits.

Describing the move as hypocrisy, Apostle Alex Mitala, said "I don't agree with the bishops, we are also bishops but how shall we change our people when we are preaching politics instead of the Gospel of the Lord".

He said the clergy asking Museveni to surrender power would not change people from sin because it was 'not the right message'.

"We shall not fear to tell any spiritual leader who is involved in preaching politics that it is wrong, that is why even Jesus told off Pharisees of their hypocrisy," he said.

Mitala was Thursday addressing journalists at Grand Imperial Hotel at a press conference where he announced the coming of American-based Evangelist, Reinhard Bonnke who is scheduled to be the main preacher at a four-day crusade dubbed 'The Uganda Jubilee Gospel Crusade' at Makerere II Grounds starting June 6th.

One Million people are invited and Bonnke is expected to show his successor, Evangelist Daniel Kolenda and thereafter hold another crusade in Gulu on July 25.

He said the Jubilee should be used by spiritual leaders to check themselves, saying despite the many years since Christianity came to Uganda, the country had continued to suffer from corruption, prostitution, homosexuality and other wrongs in society.

He explained that men of God 'had failed to play their part'. "We can't follow that group, people want what can change them from poverty other than politics and that is why we have organized this crusade" he added.

The archbishop of Kampala, Dr. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga last year wrote a pastoral letter asking Museveni to quit power by the 2016 elections and has repeated his messages at different forums.

Bishop Zac Niringiye of the Church of Uganda also launched a campaign for the restoration of Presidential term limits.

Pastor Joseph Sserwadda of the Born Again Faith Federation also called on President to step aside. The stories were widely carried in the local and international media including Washington Post.

"We don't want to start telling Museveni to retire or show us a successor when preaching; we are Ugandans and know the constitution, this it like instigating people because it is not yet time," he said adding that 'when time for politics comes, we shall guide our people on what to do'.

He stressed that the clergy would not change people from wrong doing by sounding politics.

Apostle Mitala also lashed out at fellow Pastors who 'sell prayers' to their followers in order to get healing.

"We the men of God are at fault, we need to check the message we give to our people," he explained.

According to Mitala, President Museveni has been dishing out heavy envelopes and Prado cars to bishops but none of them had never rejected these offers, but instead come out to condemn him for 'staying long' in power. He said it was a sign of hypocrisy.

Pastor Abedi Bwanika asked Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) to shelve the noise pollution law and give born again followers time before they could build sound proof Churches.

"We are moving towards sound proof Churches, we want KCCA to understand us, we know what we are doing," he said adding that Churches would control themselves and were mindful of the communities in which they operate.

Pastor David Kiganda, the co-event organizer said government had offered the crusade enough security to keep the followers safe

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