Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Makerere Community Church Pastor Martin Ssempa is petitioning the Electoral Commission to stop politicians from what he says is “adulterating religious melodies for political gain”.
Ssempa has lately come out as a critic of Tulyambala Engule, a new song which has become a signature tune for people power and opposition in Uganda.
Its lyrics, critics say, supposedly give hope of a day when Ugandans will wear a victor’s crown after enduring corruption, sectarianism, land grabbing, dictatorship, embezzlement of public funds, high taxation, unemployment poor service delivery and all other injustices.
However, the tune for which the lyrics were applied have been used by Pentecostal churches over the years, albeit, making reference to a heavenly crown for those who will overcome earthly treasures.
But Pastor Ssempa accuses Kyaddondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine, of distorting a revival song by the Pentecostal movement. He adds that although the issues he is singing about, are politically valid, the concept of his song is theologically wrong.
Ssempa fears that more politicians and political parties are likely to adulterate religious songs ahead of the 2021 general elections if they are not tamed by the authorities. He is now appealing to the Electoral Commission to review its guidelines and ensure that gospel tunes are not adulterated by politics.
He told Uganda Radio Network that Bobi Wine should delete the Engule song from You Tube and apologize to the born again movement for ruining their record.
He says that the other option for Bobi Wine is to sing the song word by word, without changing its meaning. “If he wants, let him sing the song as it is 100 percent. Change nothing. He can sing the song and keep the song meaning as it was to maintain its original meaning.”
He says Jerusalem which “olutalo nga luwedde” song refers to is different from what Bobi Wine is promising in his Engule song.
Asked if he has picked a right battle with Bobi Wine whose phenomenal rise in the political arena is keeping hundreds of politicians awake, Ssempa retorted that he was prompted by God to speak out.
Ssempa has previously picked battles such as against homosexuality, pornography, high electricity tariffs among others. He intimated that the fight against homosexuality forced him to go into hiding for two years.