“The Judiciary consists of believers, who include Muslims and Christians, who are fruits of a religious foundation, but how could one sit in his chair and endorse a judgment that a Church, a building of God, be destroyed?”
The Police have handed back an assortment of items belonging to St. Peter's Church Ndeeba, which had been removed during a Sunday night demolition.
A team of the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID), led by the director, Grace Akullo, yesterday forcefully opened stores belonging to businessman Dodoviko Mwanje alias Dodo where they recovered items that were allegedly removed from the Church before it was razed down.
Akullo, who witnessed the breaking of the stores, located near Railways zone in Ndeeba, handed over the items that included Bibles, pianos, drums, loudspeakers, wall clocks, uniforms and chairs to the Rev. Augustine Kayemba, the area vicar.
Akullo said investigations were going on to ensure that whoever was involved in the demolition of the church is prosecuted. She said they were also working with the Judiciary to get to the core of the matter.
The Church was razed following a dispute over ownership of the two-acre piece of land.
President Yoweri Museveni intervened in the matter and asked the State House AntiCorruption Unit (SHACU), headed by Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema, to investigate the matter and hold culpable whoever was involved.
The Inspector-General of Police, Martin Ochola, directed the arrest of three police officers. Eleven other people found at the site and Ivan Katongole, the KCCA acting director for physical planning, were also arrested.
37 bishops, led by the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Dr. Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu, visited the site and prayed for calmness from the followers.
The provincial dean of the Church of Uganda, the Right Rev. Jackson Nzerebende, who spoke on behalf of the bishops, blamed the Judiciary for what he called endorsing a judgment that destroys the Church of God.
"The Judiciary consists of believers, who include Muslims and Christians, who are fruits of a religious foundation, but how could one sit in his chair and endorse a judgment that a Church, a building of God, be destroyed?" he wondered before the bishops observed a moment of silence in respect to the act.
They condemned the act but vowed that destroying a Church building would not ‘shake their faith and that all Christians will remain stronger'. "We know there is always room for dialogue and in my view, this is what a right judge should recommend, people should sit together and discuss and resolve a conflict like this one amicably," he said, adding that destroying a Church building was a direct attack on the souls of the people, their conscience, as well as the unity of the country.
"We pray that a barbaric decision like this one will never be made again, whether in the courts of law, LC courts, family court or anywhere, this is a shame to our country, this is a black spot to the history of Uganda and we pray that it will never be repeated," he said.
The bishops later sang and prayed in the place, calling for calmness ‘for those who are grieving'. "A mere destruction of a building cannot shake the Church of God," Nzerebende said. "So we shall bring our hands together and restore a more magnificent building and we say shame on you who came at night to raze this building."