5 November 2018

Uganda: Museveni Gives All Saints Shs500 Million

Kampala — President Museveni has promised to "sort out" mistreatment of the clergy by his bodyguards during public functions.

The President made the promise yesterday while touring the ongoing works on the new cathedral complex at All Saints' Cathedral, Nakasero in Kampala.

During the same event, the President donated Shs500m for the completion of the complex, Shs50m of which was in cash and Shs450m in pledge.

Mr Museveni's promise comes a week after Archbishop of Church of Uganda Stanley Ntagali complained about their mistreatment by soldiers belonging to the Special Forces command, the elite commandos guarding the President.

Mr Museveni said he has heard complaints from the clergy and promised to address the problem.

"These security personnel when they are handling something, especially where the President is coming, I am told they sometimes mishandle people. We shall handle this with them because their biggest problem is the fear of terrorism. I think we may have to create more entry points so that different people can enter and the bishops and clergy are not inconvenienced. We shall sort that out," he said.

The President said it is the vigilance of the security team that has made the country safe and secure from terror attacks.

He said the annual Uganda Martyrs' Day celebrations would have provided a big ground for the terrorists to attack, but since the security is always alert, they have found it impossible to strike.

Archbishop Ntagali said the 5,000-seater complex is being constructed in phases, with the work expected to be completed by next month.

Shs500m donation

"This cathedral has continued to grow over the years. We agreed that this project should be done in phases. We completed the first phase about six years ago and [on] the current phase, we started the work last year and over the last 18 months, the work has really progressed well. These Christians raised Shs5b for the construction," he said.

Mr Museveni while handing over the Shs50m cash said he had only come with the little amount because he did not know the magnitude of the work.

"I am going to contribute Shs500m, the Shs50m I brought cash and I am going to mobilise the remaining Shs450m which I will bring soon," he said amid ululation from the Christians.

Mr Museveni also urged religious leaders and the Christians to engage in commercial agriculture to end poverty. He said for generations, churches have been for poor people, and challenged the Christians to change that trend.

"I urge every Christian to go for commercial farming and those of you who have the means can put up small factories where they can make contributions for fighting poverty," Mr Museveni said.

He thanked the Christians of All Saints Cathedral for working hard, saying "this kafunda [small place] here is too small and I thank you for putting up that big church."

Embarrassed

Archbishop Ntagali and his wife were embarrassed during the 133rd anniversary to mark the death of Bishop James Hannington at Kyando in Mayuge District last week. Archbishop Ntagali, who is also the bishop of All Saints Cathedral where President Museveni is parishioner, asked the President to tell his bodyguards to treat bishops and their wives with dignity. "I was embarrassed when I was being blocked from accessing this place. Please advise your security people to handle us with respect. My wife was forced out of the car and had to walk, bishops and their wives carry Bibles, not guns,"he said then.

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