For quite some time now, the matter of settling the money owed to creditors involved in the construction of the Church of Uganda house on Kampala Road, had been under the subject of rumours. Not many came out clearly to say what the problem was.
Then on Martyrs’ Day in Namugongo, PresidentYoweri Museveni, revealed that, as long as he will be around, the debt of some eight billion shillings, the Uganda Anglican congregation owes to the debtors, will be settled. He did not spell out where the money is going to come from, but obviously he has several modes for settling such a payment.
Ugandans are now used to Museveni giving them; donations, contributions, hand-shakes, brown envelopes and the like. So coming as it did, this would not have surprised anybody. Yet the Protestant Church prelates should have had a better planned way of having had to finish the building, which has come to be knownas, Janani Luwum House.
It is so named in remembrance of the Church of Uganda Archbishop Luwum, who president, Field Marshall Idi Amin, murdered in 1977.
The Protestant Church here must be put down as the premier Evangelical congregation. The Evangelicals or Pentecostals are recknowned for asking their celebrants to give offerings and sacrifices, aside from the standard tithes, for running church activities. Over the years this should have been in the mind of the priests of the church.
If you take that the population of the Church of Uganda is a third of the nation’s, and given that of those adherents, a third of them attend church services every Sunday, it would mean that in the last 41 years-or-so, the church would have been able to have raised,even more than that money the debtors are now asking for.
If they did not, it would only mean one thing: incompetence! Or, some other shortcoming!
To put it in another way; an American Evangelist Jesse Duplantis, is asking his congregation to believe God to get him a new jet plane at $54 million. Moreover, he has three other jets! With the determination he is bothering his congregation to raise that money for him to “spread the Word of God worldwide”, it looks likely that he will raise it.
And, it is likely that some of his followers, who are here in Uganda; are likely to send out their offerings and sacrifices.
The eight billion shillings (a little over two million dollars) Church of Uganda is owing to the creditors, is a pittance of what the fellow Pentecostal in the US is asking for. The local church should be taking notes from this; in any case, they are really birds of the same feather, so they should not be ashamed to go with a begging bowl to their fellow celebrants countrywide.
This would kill three birds with the same stone: inculcate the spirit of giving within the Church; pay off the debt; and, not pander or be betokened to Museveni.