Iganga- A pastor in Iganga Town and a female member of his church have drowned in a dam during baptism by immersion.
Pastor Julius Mukisa and Jennifer Mugolofa, who are members of the Redeem Pentecostal Church, drowned in Mugoya Dam in Nakalama Sub-county on Tuesday evening.
Police are yet to establish the circumstances that led to the incident, but eye witnesses told the Daily Monitor that the pastor lost his balance as he was holding the woman and plunged into the river. It is said none of the two knew how to swim.
Busoga East Region police commander Moses Muluya said they are holding the senior pastor of the Church in connection with the incident.
“The lead pastor reported to the police station and is in our custody pending investigations,” Mr Muluya said.
The bodies were retrieved yesterday morning and taken to Iganga Hospital mortuary where they were still lying by press time.
Eye witness accounts
Eye witnesses revealed that the senior pastor had arrived together with the deceased pastor and the woman to be baptised, but let his colleague perform the baptism as he stayed on the edge of the water body reciting verses from the Bible.
“The lead pastor was standing on the shoreline as his colleague went on with the baptism ceremony. He [pastor Mukisa] held the head of the woman and as he pushed her into the waters for the third time, he lost grip and the two drowned,” Mr Abbas Zikulabe, an eye witness, said.
At least seven other people have drowned during baptism rituals at the same dam in the last two years.
Many religious groups baptise by immersion in the river.