Catholic, Anglican and Orthodox leaders have welcomed a proposal by the government to start funding the activities of the church
By Pascal Kwesiga
Religious leaders from the Catholic, Anglican and Orthodox denominations have welcomed a proposal by the government to start funding the activities of the church to expand its role in social service delivery.
The clerics under the Uganda Joint Christian Council (UJCC) said the church needs state funding in critical areas such as health and education because their interventions in these sectors supplements government's efforts to improve the livelihood of the population.
The Anglican archbishop, Henry Luke Orombi who is the UJCC chairman said during their annual assembly at Pope Paul memorial center in Kampala that if the church starts receiving State funding, it would make a sizeable contribution towards poverty alleviation and improving the standards of living among the populace.
His remarks came after the National Resistance Movement (NRM) deputy chief whip, MP David Bahati informed the clerics that government was considering the possibility of starting to give funding to faith-based organizations engaged in activities that improve the livelihood of the people in the country.
Orombi observed State funding to the church would translate into reduction of fees on education and health services in education institutions and health facilities established by the church.
"We are still paying a lot of money to government for running our education institutions in value added tax (VAT). If these taxes are removed we can deliver better and cheaper services," he said.
In a statement, the bishops called for the review of the Constitution to reduce the excessive powers enjoyed by the President.
Orombi said there is need to enact a law to protect the sitting President from being bombarded by the people asking him to address issues that can be solved by the relevant institutions.
"The President cannot do everything. We want the relevant government institutions to be allowed to do their work instead of everyone asking the President to solve their problems," he added.
The religious leaders called on Parliament to expedite the passing of the Anti-homosexuality Bill into law to combat same-sex marriages which threats the moral fabric of the Ugandan society.
They also urged government to do everything in its power to get to the bottom of the causes of nodding disease, with the view of wiping it out to save the people in the north where it has so far killed over 200 children since 2009 when it broke out.
The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga in a speech read for by Bahati said the Church should continue advising the political leaders objectively.
Religious leaders welcome plan to receive State funding