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By Godfrey Olukya
VOL Africa Correspondent
March 12, 2020

An Anglican parish on the outskirts of Kampala, the capital city of Uganda, has been besieged by police which is refusing to allow anyone including the parish priest and area Bishop access to it.

St. Peter's church, located in Ndeeba village was attacked by armed policemen and court bailiffs on March 6. On that day the Anglican community in Ndeeba nearly lost their place of worship following the intention of court bailiffs to demolish the church, a primary school and the priest's house claiming that the land belonged to someone else.

An eyewitness in a shop neighboring the church one Amos Lugemwa said; "The Anglican community put up a brave fight using stones and sticks to fight those who had come to tear down the buildings. Local Police unleashed tear gas and fired live bullets in air, but locals stood their ground and surrounded their church,''

However, bailiffs managed to destroy the primary school and some makeshift structures but were unable to destroy the church.

One of the Anglicans in that church Peter Mukasa said; "The bailiffs had a court order eviction notice which we believe was a forgery or obtained through corruption. They started by demolishing the school and other makeshift structures. As we continued battling with the bailiffs and police the area police commander arrived and ordered a stop to any further demolition."
Heavily armed policemen remained guarding the church and its compound.

When the area diocesan Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Wilbeforce Kityo Luwalira attempted to enter the Church on March 9th he was refused entry by the police. "I condemn those trying to destroy the house of God," said Bishop Luwalira.

"Last Sunday we were not allowed to access the church where we wanted to hold prayers. When our bishop came to see what had gone wrong, he was stopped from entering the place," said vestryman Mukasa.

The headmaster of St. Peters Primary, Samuel Kalanzi said; "The school has been in existence for over 4 years. All along we knew that the land belonged to the church but were shocked when we were thrown out by bailiffs who claimed that the land belonged to someone else, now it is demolished."

Church lay leader Robert Salongo Seunjogi, said that as far as he knows the land on which the church sits belongs to the Anglican Church of Uganda. "I call upon all Christians of this church to keep calm. I assure them that we are the rightful owners of the land because we have the land title."

Area MP, Paul Kato Lubwama has condemned the actions of the Police and the court that issued the eviction order. The court made a mistake issuing the eviction order without ascertaining the true owners of the land," he said.

The mayor of Kampala, Erias Lukwago said that being a lawyer he is going to ensure that the church is not demolished. "I will work with the Church of Uganda lawyers to ensure that the eviction order is cancelled, he said.


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