13 Children Rescued as Police Raid Churches in Kabale

4846 Views Kabale, Western Region, Uganda

In short
The raid on the churches follows concerns that the pastors have been extorting money from their followers and also illegally keeping children in their homes.

Police in Kabale have closed down two churches belonging to born again preachers and rescued 13 children they found in their custody.
 
The raid on the churches follows concerns that the pastors have been extorting money from their worshipers and also illegally keeping children in their homes.
 
The first raid was carried out in Kibikura Cell Lower Bugongi ward in Northern Division Kabale Municipality where police stormed Nazareth Revival Ministries where 13 children were found living together with the church Pastor one Guard Mucunguzi and his family.
 
The raid by police sparked off confusion among the Christians who were praying from the same church and tried to block the police from searching the pastor’s house but in vain and the children were found in the house and taken to Kabale Police.
 
The decision sparked off an exchange of words between the police, pastor and the Christians.
 
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Joventa Ndibwami, the area local council one chairperson, told our reporter that the authorities become suspicious when they asked him to produce documents allowing him to operate but he failed to produce them.
 
Kabale district police commander Bosco Arop told Uganda Radio Network that the police decided to raid the church after learning that he has been keeping children whose parents are not known and that were all below the age of seven.
 
Arop says that the police cannot allow the pastor to keep the children under his custody  because there are a number of concerns are surrounding his activities.
 
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Arop further revealed that the police has also confiscated a forged license, certificate and constitution in the names of Nazareth Revival Ministries.
 
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However Guard Mucunguzi, one of the pastors, rubbished the police concerns and said he is being harassed by leaders of the Anglican Church as his church is near St. Peter’s Cathedral Rugarama for the Diocese of Kigezi and vowed not to close down his church.
 
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But Kabale District internal security officer Robert Nabimanya insists they cannot take the chance purely on claims made by the pastor.
 
The same operation also saw the arrest of Pastor Sharot Mutoni Byaruhanga alias Mushabirizi who was found operating a church in a bush located at Kikungiri hill near Kabale University.
 
Mutoni who is also a Rwandan national did not have any residency papers to allow her to stay in Uganda. She informed police she had been living in Uganda illegally for four years.
 
Mutoni claims that she came to Uganda to look for a husband and that God had given her one.
 
She, however, denied allegations that she had been operating a church. This is despite the fact that a big room was found in her home with many chairs and organized like it was for a church service. She said this was her prayer room she uses with friends.
 
But police say they have information that she has been conning Kabale University students by promising to pray for them and they pass exams.
 
The two pastors are being held at Kabale central Police Station.

 

About the author

Anthony Kushaba
For Anthony Kushaba, journalism is not just a job; it is a calling. Kushaba believes journalism is one of the few platforms where the views of the oppressed and margainalised can be heard. This is what his journalism aims to do: bring to light untold stories.

Kushaba is the Mbarara region URN bureau chief. Mitooma, Ntungamo, Bushenyi, Sheema, Isingiro, and Kiruhura districts fall under his docket. Kushaba has been a URN staff member since 2012.

Kushaba is a journalism graduate from Uganda Christian University Study Centre at Bishop Barham College in Kabale. Before joining URN, Kushaba worked with Voice of Kigezi (2008), Bushenyi FM (2010) and later on to Voice of Muhabura.

Kushaba's journalism interests centre on conflict, peace and electoral reporting. Kushaba occasionally writes on tourism, health, religion and education. He describes himself as highly driven and will pursue a tip until it yields a story.