Coronavirus and worship: Another six to face charges over defying presidential order. South Sudanese citizens involved

Ugandan police picking up church leaders and members who were arrested for holding illegal prayer in Koboko district. Picture by Adidi Rashul, 17th July 2020

By: Adidi Rashul, Spirit fm

Despite the continuous expedition to end social gathering amidst the wave of a global shaking coronavirus pandemic, some church leaders still downplay the presidential order to shun social gathering amongst the communities. President Museveni ordered to impede any form of gathering that might bring together more than 3 people to curb the vigorous spread of the virus.

But in Koboko district for the second time police detained another six church members and leaders for illegally organizing a praise and worship prayer session in a forest cave. The six people including two pastors who refers themselves as “purpose for life” members were arrested on Sunday by the Ugandan police while holding illegal prayer in a forest cave of Metina, a parish at Abuku sub-county of Koboko district.

Among the other four were Lilian Sharon 27 and Aisha Fungaro both South Sudanese nationals who were also part of the prayer group in the cave.

The district police commander koboko Mr.  Abwang Samuel who confirmed the arrest says the suspects are currently detained as they are being investigated to find out their motives of holding illegal prayers in a cave.

“we got a tip off from one of the concerned locals around the forest about these people who have been holding illegal prayers in the cave deep in one of the forest called Gbenge, so we squad into action and arrested six people including two pastors and they are currently being investigated to find out their motives” The district police commander said.

According to Swaibu Kenyi the sub county lc3 chairperson of Abuku subcounty,the arrested suspects illegally found their way into the sub county on pretext of Evangelization adding that this to his opinion are faction of the Pentecostal church in koboko.

“These people who have been arrested illegally entered into the sub county on the accounts of Evangelization of the community and this according to my opinion are a faction of the Pentecostal church of koboko.” Kenyi swaibu, Lc3 Abuku Sub County.

Mr. Achikule Bran the lc3 chairperson of midia Sub County expressed worries on the actions of people who want to use religion to manipulate the local population.

“Why should hold prayers deep in the forest and worst in a cave ,this is real worrying because such people sometimes come at the pretext of religion yet the want manipulate the local population, so be should be careful on such kind of people who also come on pretext of religion and even others financial institution who are helping.”

He however called upon the local population in Abuku and Midia sub counties to increase on their vigilance as the incidence which occurred within the border line possess a security threat to the two sub counties.

The six arrested suspects have currently been detained at koboko central police station as investigation to establish their motives of holding prayers in forest cave is

Recently (in the same week) police in koboko arrested a religious leader and his followers in koboko over same related issues of illegally holding prayers and they were charged with disobedience of presidential directives and lawful orders.