Rukiga/Katakwi. Police in Rukiga District have detained seven women and a male pastor accused of holding an illegal meeting and praying while naked from a private house they claim is their church.
The members, claiming to be of Full Gospel Church, were seized from the house of one Adah Kahababo of Kangondo Ward in Rukiga Town Council.
The joint security swoop on Tuesday was led by the Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Mr Emmy Ngabirano, and the District Police Commander, Mr John Mawure.
Mr Ngabirano questioned why the worshipers were praying naked with one man as their pastor.
He also wondered what the purported pastor was doing with people’s naked wives.
Mr Mawure listed those arrested as pastor Aggrey Elias Mubangizi of Ibanda municipality in Ibanda District, Adah Kahababo, Christine Arinda, Hope Nyamurungi, Apohia Tumusiime, Annah Mugabirwe, Angella Nyangoma, and Moreen Nyangoma, all residents of Rukiga.
“We respect the freedom of worship but people must follow the existing laws of operating a church and one of the requirements is to have it registered. The arrested people were holding an illegal assembly in someone’s house, which they claimed to be their church where they have been praying while naked,” Mr Ngabirano said.
“As the security team, we shall not allow such unlawful activities as they may lead to a cult like that of [Joseph] Kibwetere where hundreds of people were burnt to death in a church in Kanungu District in March 2000,” he added.
The RDC said the women’s spouses had complained to security officials about the former’s behaviour, saying they had abandoned their marital homes for one week and camped at Ms Kahababo’s home for day and night prayers.
Police rescue sickly girl from pastor’s church
Meanwhile, in Katakwi District, residents have rescued a nine-year-old girl on the verge of death from a Pentecostal church in Aguriguri Village.
The girl’s mother, Ms Rose Aguti, is reported to have been told by Pastor Richard Asutu, 27, of Save Soul International Ministries to abandon medical treatment and rely on prayers for her daughter to be healed.
Her father, Mr Charles Atoro, said she recently underwent blood transfusion at Soroti Regional Referral Hospital but his wife discontinued her medication and stealthily took her to the church.
“At church, I found the child dazed and the drugs prescribed were nowhere to be seen,” he said. He said upon seeing the daughter on the verge of death, the residents attacked the pastor before police intervened.
Mr Peter Odoko, the district community liaison officer, said: “We are told he holds overnight prayers, which bar women from sexual intercourse with their men,” he said.