Sunday February 23 2014

Swearing by Bible or Quran is questionable

By Stella Nannyonga

This is in response to the article that appeared in the Daily Monitor about the Rev Florence Muranga, the executive director, Banana project, refusing to take an oath.

It was shocking when the professor and presidential adviser refused to take an oath before Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee. As stewards of knowledge and witnesses of the Lord in this generation, I defend with all authority this act as relevant to her profession.

It is understandable for Members of Parliament to react so harshly about the mismanagement of public funds because every Ugandan contributes significantly to raise and keep this treasury running.

I want to first appreciate the role played by this committee and how without favour they try to bring facts to light. I attribute this to a democratic government that enables government officials to come to justice over mismanagement of taxpayers’ money, and abuse of office.

However, as an academician and Christian, I feel concerned about how facts are bought to light by bringing valuable books in the meeting like the Constitution, Bible and Quran. Many people hold these books high and swear that they will tell the truth, yet they go on to lie. Even you reading right now are aware how holding a Bible or Quran may not move you if your motives are selfish.

According to Mathew 5:33-37, the Lord emphasises not to take oaths but to simply say yes or no.

I would have expected an applause for Rev Muranga who respects biblical verses even in such critical times. This is actually a lesson and a challenge for Christians.

The committee members should respect defendants who may have reasons to support their actions before they immediately condemn them.

I want to thank the Rev Muranga for being such a courageous woman and servant of God.
We need honest people and a Mandela-spirit in Uganda because there is a lot of intrigue going on in the name of fighting corruption.

Stella Nannyonga,
Kyambongo University