SECURITY BOSSES CLASH OVER BUGINGO CHURCH REOPENING AS COVID19 CRIPPLES KAWEMPE RDC
By Mulengera Reporters
Kawempe RCC Hudu Hussein has sharply contradicted Wandegeya DPC Sam Odongo and other Kawempe security leaders who last Thursday drove to Pastor Bugingo’s House of Prayer Ministries headquarters in Kikoni along Sir Apollo Kaggwa Road. As we reported earlier, during their visit at Canaan Land the top security bosses toured and inspected the entire 8 acres and saw preparations Ps Aloysius Bugingo had put in place and cleared him to resume lunch hour and Sunday services (see related story https://mulengeranews.com/impressed-by-his-large-place-efforts-to-keep-out-covid-the-kawempe-taskforce-allows-ps-bugingo-to-reopen-canaan-for-sunday-services-lunch-hour/).
He showed them the vastness of his premises and the well-spaced plastic chairs he had scattered on the vast land both in the open and the tents and the security bosses became enchanted and cleared him to open. In fact, introducing himself as an active worshiper at House of Prayer Church, Wandegeya Division DPC Sam Odongo said “you actually delayed to reopen.” Bugingo indicated to them how the hundreds of the very neat chairs scattered on the 8 acres of land had the capacity to accommodate a large number of worshipers who can congregate and pray safely without making anyone susceptible to catching Coronavirus from their neighbors. He said he was a transparent spiritual leader who doesn’t want to be or act like other pastors who opened long time ago and have clandestinely been ministering to hundreds of people while using their TV channels to show only 70 just to dupe government operatives who might be out to catch those breaching the President’s directive on 70 being the maximum number.
All the security leaders present, including the DISO who Kawempe RCC Hudu Hussein says represented him, cleared Bugingo to go ahead and have his wish to assemble as many worshipers inside his Canaan Land since the place is spacious enough. The meeting (which was held after inspecting the entire place) was gratefully done publicly in presence of media cameras. Bugingo, who they had permitted to begin immediately, preferred to give himself up to Monday 26th October to become logistically more prepared. And indeed, hundreds of worshipers are looking forward to once again fellowshipping at Canaan Land effective tomorrow. This will be their first time at their much cherished Canaan Land since March when Gen Museveni first proclaimed his lockdown requiring people to stay away from worship places.
I’M NOT PARTY
Now in a sudden twist of events, the Kawempe RCC Hudu Hussein has this Sunday evening rang Mulengera News saying he is disassociating himself from the entire development, proceedings and resolutions reached during the Thursday meeting at Pastor Bugingo’s Church. “I have just read your story and I’m here to disassociate myself because there is no way a DPC or even DISO can alter the Presidential directive. Unless you guys want to put me in problems with my boss the President who I represent, there is no way I can risk having Pastor Bugingo or any other pastor in my area of jurisdiction having a prayer congregation of more than 70 people,” he said.
Revealing that he was calling from self-isolation which was imposed on him by the Ministry of Health after he tested positive for COVID19 at the beginning of last week, Hudu Hussein vowed thus: “Over my dead body because there is no way such a prayer gathering can be permitted anywhere in Kawempe as long as I’m the RCC.” He explained that the Bugingo meeting was originally scheduled for Tuesday 20th October but was postponed to Thursday 22nd because he was involved in launching the Emyoga program for Kawempe and couldn’t make it. “I spoke to Pastor Bugingo’s people and we agreed to reschedule to Thursday but that very Tuesday my results came back indicating I was positive for COVID19. That is how I designated the DISO to represent me at that meeting on Thursday,” says Hudu Hussein.
We asked him which briefing or update he had received so far from his representative (the DISO) from the meeting at Pastor Bugingo’s Church and Hudu Hussein didn’t clearly answer only indicating he hadn’t heard from the DISO since. All he said was that: “As RCC I’m the head of the COVID19 taskforce for Kawempe and I’m disassociating myself from the planned reopening of Pastor Bugingo’s Church for more than 70 worshipers because that would be an illegal gathering and there is no way the DISO or even DPC can alter the Presidential directive on 70 people. We aren’t saying 70 because we doubt that some Churches, like that of Pastor Bugingo, have capacity for more. No. the reasons for that are different and it can’t be changed or altered by mere RDC, DPC or any other member of the COVID19 taskforce.”
At the Canaan Land meeting, Bugingo also had the head of public health in Kawempe (a KCCA official) who equally praised the flamboyant Pastor for being exceedingly qualified to have his lunch hour and Sunday services resume. The public health official said that the mitigation measures he saw being in place indicated that Bugingo had done more than enough to ensure that the more than 70 people that would be converging for every service are adequately safe from any COVID19 exposure. Hudu Hussein disagrees with all that insisting that the requirement not to exceed 70 worshipers per service remains applicable to Bugingo or any other religious or spiritual leader regardless of the size of their worship places or churches. Hussein indicated that as the chairman of the Kawempe taskforce, he is free to raise his objections without being required to first compare notes with any of the members who attended the meeting in his absence.
As for his current status while battling COVID19, the youthful RDC/RCC said he had responded so well to the medication and treatment that was given to him by the relevant medics at Mulago hospital. “Because my situation wasn’t so severe or even life threatening, I was advised to self-isolate from home from where I have been taking my medication and I’m sure I will be back in office at the end of the week at the expiry of the 10 days I was advised to be in self-isolation,” explained Hudu Hussein who is also a long serving cadre of the ruling NRM.
When reached on phone late Sunday evening, the Wandegeya Division DPC Sam Odongo said he had been misunderstood as to what he meant when he commended Pastor Bugingo for putting in place such excellent mitigation measures. “It’s true we toured that place and commended Pastor Bugingo for the measures they have put in place and the consensus was that they can have as many brief services as they can each of not more than 70 people. We only offered to report back the good news of what we witnessed to our bosses because the final decision [allowing any prayer gathering exceeding 70 people] doesn’t lie with us. It’s with the President and there is no way the DPC or anybody else can alter that,” said Odongo adding that he was displeased that entire truth of what he said at the meeting wasn’t being portrayed.
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