By Herbert Ssempogo
and Charles Ariko
PASTORS Simon Male and Martin Ssempa were yesterday interrogated by the Police for allegedly falsifying information and swearing false affidavits purporting that Pastor Robert Kayanja committed sodomy.
Kayanja is the pastor of Miracle Centre Church in Rubaga, Kampala. Male arrived at the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) in Kibuli, a Kampala suburb, at about 10:30am. CID deputy director Moses Sakira and general crimes boss Venice Tumuhibise interrogated him from 12:30pm to 5:00pm. His lawyer Paul Rutisya was present.
Ssempa arrived at 11:35am accompanied by two aides and lawyer Philip Karugaba. The Police questioned him from 4:47pm to 7:35pm.
Maleâ€™s lawyer said his client belongs to Arise and Shine Ministries based on Portal Avenue in Kampala. Ssempa pastors Makerere Community Church.
Addressing journalists before the interrogation, the men said they were not scared.
The clergymen allegedly said Kayanja sodomised boys, who confessed to them about their ordeal. Both pastors recorded statements and they are expected back in Kibuli today for further interrogation.
Male said he told the Police the truth. He said he had given refuge to a Samson Mukisa, one of Kayanjaâ€™s accusers.
Male said he was not a liar but a Good Samaritan. â€œI am a human rights defender.â€
Ssempa said for years he had assisted victims of homosexuality, a job he described as tough. â€œI pray that the country will not forget the boys. There should be justice for boys who have been abused sexually just like for girls,â€ he stated.
â€œI have no problem with Kayanja. He has never sodomised me,â€ Ssempa said. â€œIt is the children who came to us and confessed. It is those who are seeking justice.â€
Ssempa said he was concerned that some people in Kayanjaâ€™s church were highly-placed in the Police force. â€œBut we have faith in democracy and justice,â€ he added.
Ssempa said he first heard the sodomy allegations against Kayanja in 1996. He cited David Mulakazi, Robson Matovu and Mukisa as some of the accusers. He called for a commission of inquiry into the activities of pastors cited in homosexual activities.
After the interrogation, Ssempa told journalists that the process and the cause of justice had just started.
Both Ssempa and Male dismissed claims that Kayanjaâ€™s accusers had withdrawn the allegations. CID boss Edward Ochom on Sunday told a press conference in Kampala that Kayanja had no case to answer because his accusers had lied about him.
Kayanja would not comment on the matter yesterday, but his spokesperson Arthur Nsamba promised to issue a statement today.
The Police yesterday paraded a woman whom they described as Mukisaâ€™s mother. Olivia Nansubuga, 30, said Mukisa had never been at Rubaga Miracle Centre. Mukisa in an affidavit said he was 19 years old and that both his parents were dead.
But Nansubuga said he was 17, although she could not tell when she gave birth to Mukisa whom she said was her only child. The Police did not say if they would carry out a DNA test on Nansubuga and Mukisa to clear the matter.
Nansubuga, a resident of Kyengera, was invited by the Police to clarify the allegations against Kayanja which Mukisa made in his affidavit.
She said his father, Richard Muyingo, who lives at Kajjansi, abandoned her after making her pregnant in S1 at Kitende Senior Secondary School.
Tightly guarded by two Police escorts, Nansubuga said although she belonged to Kyengera Pentecostal Church, she was perturbed by what she saw on television and heard on radio and wanted to clear the allegations her â€œown sonâ€ made.
â€œI have never gone to Kayanjaâ€™s church, but as a born-again Christian, I canâ€™t sit down and see people malign a senior pastor of Kayanjaâ€™s calibre.â€
She displayed three photos of Mukisa whom she said had changed his name to Robert Musaarize, Musasiizi and Mukisa.
â€œMy son has had mental problems since childhood,â€ she said. â€œHe escaped from home twice when he was still young in 2006. I never saw him again until this year on Easter when he told me he was working at Pastor Michael Kyazzeâ€™s church.â€
Pastor Kyazze of Omega Healing Centre is also implicated in the allegations against Kayanja.
Additional reporting by Robert Mutebi