By Henry Mukasa
WITH so much sin taking place in the country, the President has declared Sunday, June 20, a national day of prayer and repentance.
The President said in a statement that while God has blessed the country with peace, security, democracy and economic growth, Ugandans are indulging in immoral acts that might lead to Godâ€™s furry. He cited corruption, sexual perversion, human sacrifice and witchcraft as some of the immoral acts rampant these days.
â€œThese and other acts, which have been or are being committed, have not pleased God. We risk losing out on Godâ€™s blessings for this nation if we choose to disobey Him,â€ President Yoweri Museveni warned.
The statement was read out to the press by the minister for the presidency, Beatrice Wabudeya, at the Uganda Media Centre yesterday. â€œThis (prayer) is so that together we may thank God and seek his mercy and forgiveness for this great and chosen nation,â€ Museveni explained.
Wabudeya played down concerns that the call for prayer was admittance that the legal regime had failed to curb crime and the nation had turned to Godâ€™s mercy.
â€œUganda is a God-fearing country and itâ€™s in our Motto and National Anthem. For what we do and miss, God has a role. He also chooses leaders,â€
Wabudeya explained. The minister said outrageous acts like defilement of two-year-olds and ritual murders were so alarming.
â€œWhen that happens, donâ€™t you think someone has gone berserk? Itâ€™s not that we are desperate for a solution. We need that spiritual healing.â€
Wabudeya observed that while in her youth, the Ten Commandments of God were followed and people feared to touch what was not theirs.These days, â€œpeople are stealing with impunity.â€
Ethics and Integrity minister Dr James Nsaba Buturo rebuked journalists, who had expected a big political announcement from State House, for perception that a day of national prayer was not big-time news.
He pointed out that the founders of this country made a covenant with God, which is re-echoed every time the national anthem is sang and the motto is recited.
â€œIf you believe thereâ€™s no God, that is your personal view. We want to go before our maker and say â€˜God help, we deserve to be better, but we need your assistance,â€ Buturo implored.
He was supported by Wabudeya, who said in the dynamic life, one is liable to fall short before the glory of God.
â€œWe are going to put aside our political differences and pray.â€
The national day of prayer and repentance will be inter-denominational. It will not be an annual event.
According to Wabudeya, Parliament passed a resolution for national prayer days. These are on top of prayer breakfast held annually on October 8th, before the independence anniversary.
Below is the President's statement in full.
Fellow Ugandans, brothers a and sisters: For the last 24 years, Uganda has had stability and enjoyed a considerable period of prosperity. During this period, very critical and important achievements have been made or realised.
They include; peace, security and rapid economic growth. Life expectancy has risen, literacy levels have risen, infant mortality has fallen, national revenue has risen a thousand-fold, road network and general infrastructure has greatly improved, investment climate has become favourable and there is democracy.
We have also recorded impressive achievements in areas such as health and education. We thank god for all this.
All this notwithstanding, there are a number of things that have gone against our expectation.
For example, some Ugandans have involved themselves in immoral acts such as idolatry, sexual perversion, human sacrifice, bribery, witchcraft, embezzlement, illicit enrichment and misuse of public funds.
These and other acts, which have been or are being committed, have not pleased God. We, therefore, run the risk of losing out on Godâ€™s blessings for this nation if we choose to disobey Him. On the other hand, we stand to gain if we obey God.
And as we read in Deuteronomy, 28:12:â€œThe Lord will open to you his good treasury the heavens, to give the rain of your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands; and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.â€
Accordingly, I have declared that on Sunday June 20, 2010, at 9:00am at Kololo Independence Ground, we shall gather together for a special day of prayer and repentance. This is so that together we may thank God and seek his mercy and forgiveness for this great and chosen nation.
I now call upon Ugandans of all persuasions and all friends of Uganda living in this country and abroad to accept this invitation to come before God for prayer and repentance.
Ugandans who may not be able to come to Kololo may gather in convenient places within their locations for the same purpose on that day.
For God and my country.