American NGO on Spot Over "Strange Doctrine"

3333 Views Masaka, Uganda

In short
The NGO runs a foster home in Kayirikiti village in Nyendo-Ssenyange division of Masaka Municipality.

AKOA Refugee and God’s Revival Ministries International, a nongovernmental organization based in Masaka municipality, is on the spot for allegedly promoting immorality and a controversial religious doctrine. AKOA was founded by an American couple Tyler Workman and Livy Workman, with an intention of looking after orphaned children. The NGO runs a foster home in Kayirikiti village in Nyendo-Ssenyange division of Masaka Municipality. Currently, there are more than 80 orphans and needy children at the foster home drawn from communities around Masaka district.

However, residents and local authorities want the activities of AKOA Refugee and God’s Revival Ministries International stopped over allegations of promoting immorality. Samuel Ndawula, the LC I chairperson of Kayirikiti village says the American couple came to the area in 2009 as a faith based group under the born again Churches, but its activities are suspicious. He says that on arrival in the area, the couple liaised with Gerald Kasozi and Betty Kasozi, the founders of God’s Revival Church as a well as a foster children’s home.
 
He says the couple took full control of the foster home in 2011, which had ten children and immediately started introducing the minors to a strange doctrine. Henry Busuulwa, the chairperson Masaka municipal council social services committee says they have been receiving reports that the American couple introduced a new religious doctrine contrary to the Born Again Christian practices. He claims that under their teachings the couple promotes early sex and alcohol consumption amongst children as young as seven years of age.

Busuulwa alleges that they tried to conduct an on spot inspection exercise at the foster home to verify the claims but they were blocked by tight security at the main gate. The foster home is located inside a very high perimeter wall, which is guarded jealously. Kayemba Kayondo, the Community Development Officer Nyendo-Ssenyange Division says he started receiving reports about the strange teachings at the foster home in 2012 but its management denied the claims. Kayondo claims that his investigations show that a lot of immorality is going on at the foster home.

He also claims that the management of the foster home has since blocked parents of the children under their care from visiting them. Kayondo alleges that AKOA operates a secret room known as “Duty Room”, in the basement of dormitories, where children are reportedly taken to practice the new doctrinal values. He says that even the Americans at the foster home have weird tattoos on their bodies and drive tinted vehicles all the time, which raises suspicion amongst residents. He wants the NGO closed and its founders kicked out of the country immediately.
 
Betty Kasozi, a founder member of the church and foster home has distanced herself from the activities at the home. Kasozi says the Americans kicked them out of the project in 2012 and issued strict guidelines to their security guards to block them for accessing it, despite the fact that it is registered in their names. She appeals to Masaka RDC Chris Awori Odio to intervene and help them recover their project from the American couple. Odio has instructed security personnel to conduct thorough investigations into the matter. Tyler Workman, who declined to comment on the allegations of promoting a strange cult, accuses the Kasozi family of financial impropriety.

He insists that they have good intentions of helping poor African children in need of services adding that, they cannot be restricted from managing the project.