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When criminals grace the pulpit

By Onghwens Kisangala

Uganda is at the centre of a cultural twist; sodomy could be on the increase. With some people in society lukewarm to condemn it and others clandestinely engaged, a few men have come out openly to speak against it. Among them is Pastor Moses Solomon Male of Arising for Christ church. Onghwens Kisangala spoke to him. Excerpts.

The Independent:  For a while, there have been accusations and counter accusations between pastors and alleged victims of sodomy and all sorts of vices, what is going on in the church, more so, the Pentecostal Movement?

Pastor Male: There is a problem within the church. But I should say it is not restricted to the Pentecostal Movement. It is a general problem in the entire body of Christ; Catholics, Anglicans, Presbyterians, Pentecostal, born-again, name it, there is a problem of integrity. There is an integrity crisis in the church today. Now what do we see happening in the body of Christ today?

That is what I want you to tell me.

I will name some of the things that are happening within spiritual entities today. There is sodomy. It is in schools, churches, and in our community; powerful people are involved in it, but worst of all, the-would be icons of society, custodians of morality and light and salt of the world are the perpetrators of these vices; the men in the pew, the spiritual leaders.

You have talked before about these men and women of God, can you name them?

We have (and I have got to be very, very precise) Pastor Kitaka resigned over sodomy, Pastor Isaac Kiwewesi, Pastor Simeon Kayiwa.

How has the church tried to deal with this menace?

In 2003 during the Kayiwa-Rochelle Gibler saga, there was Pastor Kibuuka in Kawempe, he had information regarding Kayiwa and what he had been involved in. So I met Pastor Kibuuka, we talked at length. He told me there is a commission of inquiry set up by the National Fellowship, but then their father is Kayiwa. They are not going to touch him; actually they found for him an escape route. I told him ‘can you come out?’ He said “if it were anyone else handling it I would”, since it is fellow pastors, I can not; it is just a waste of time. He said “if I come out people will stop getting saved, look at the Catholics they are going to gain, Protestants are going to gain, no, no, no!”

Is their purpose to protect the status quo or to do what is right?

No. They feel no remorse for what they do. They are doing evil and committing crimes with impunity; fearing not God but fellow man. When they commit evil and accusers come up, they tell them to go to the law. Yet the law is weak. The current laws can’t address spiritual issues. They were probably designed long before the so called men of God turned berserk. Today we have criminals at the pulpit, and other church leaders are covering them.

You talk of committing crimes with impunity, can you substantiate?

Some of them have found the corridors of power, where they do wrong; fellow priests or pastors cover them. In the corridors of power, if you try to touch them, they will quickly shout ‘this is an attack on the church’ which I personally don’t believe in. I believe that when somebody commits wrong, he should be held accountable, and we don’t have the mechanism to bring these so called men and women of God to justice just because they intimidate every body – thou shall not touch God’s anointed.

Are you saying the church is deliberately fanning this vice?

Again in 2004 the National Fellowship of Born Again Churches (NFBAC) led by Pastor David Kiganda launched operation-clean-the-house. Evils started surfacing but it became certain that as one group was trying to fight evil, another was trying to cover it up, and this was Pastor Serwadda.

How do you tell between a false church and a genuine one?

True propagators of the gospel will not sale blessings, prayers, marriage, visas and others. They call it sawing a seed. Secondly a pastor moving around with young men; hair plaited, or do make ups, then you must really be keen; the men may be involved in the vice of sodomy. A church where young men put on ear rings, girls put on mini skirts, they show nudity, the focus is on miracles, keep a distance.

If the Church is breaking, as you seem to suggest, what is the way forward?

We need to set up a commission of inquiry. This commission should call people who have been hurt and ask them particular questions regarding what they suffered. After getting all that, we will have established a basis for a good policy. We also need a platform which operates as the Human Rights Commission. This will not go through those bureaucracies, the so called proof beyond reasonable doubt. As long as you have your case it is handled expediently. It will deal with all the religious denominations.

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