Candidates Court Pentecostal Churches for Support

2072 Views Fort Portal, Uganda

In short
Pastor David Mugabe of Fort Portal Allied Pentecostal Church says that he has been approached by several candidates in the Parliamentary and district races requesting him to convince his flock to vote for them. Those seeking Church endorsements promise to lobby for support to the church once voted into office.

Candidates vying for elective office in Kabarole district are courting Pentecostal churches for support ahead of the February 18 general election.

There are more than 15 Pentecostal churches in Fort Portal all of which have become a center of attention for contenders in both parliamentary and local government races.

Pastors have also welcomed the candidates and used church services to dedicate special blessings for them regardless of their political affiliation.

Pastor David Mugabe of Fort Portal Allied Pentecostal Church says that he has been approached by several candidates who want him to convince his flock to vote for them with promises of lobbying for support to the church once voted into office.

Davis Rwamuhumbu, an independent candidate in the Fort Portal Municipality parliamentary race says that he is targeting the Pentecostal churches because they attract youths, a constituent which his interests represent. He explains that it is easier for him to market his manifesto which priorities issues affecting youths through the church structures.
//Cue in: "educate the youth…
Cue out: ‘…attract bursaries."// 
Viola Kabaweza, the pastor of Karambi United Pentecostal Church says that her church has endorsed certain candidates at various levels and mobilized members to vote for them. Although she does not disclose the choices, Kabaweza says the decision was based on their manifestos and pledges to the church.

Kabaweza explains that Pentecostal churches have changed the face of religion and therefore need support and recognition from candidates just like the other religious denominations.
//Cue in: "need recognition…
 Cue out: "…left out."//
However some Born Again Christians told Uganda Radio Network that pastors dictating which candidate to vote for will leave the church divided.

Steven Tusiime, one of the Christians says that voting is an individual responsibility which should not in any way be dictated or even influenced by religious leaders to their flock. He adds that if a pastor supports a particular candidate, that should not be interpreted as the stand of all members of the church.

The Pentecostal movement has in the past publicly declared their support for President Museveni.

At the 14th Passover festival to usher in the New Year, President Museveni told worshippers that the Government will start funding churches and other religious faiths to bolster the evangelical work they are doing which supplements the efforts of the state.


About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.