Masaka Catholic priest campaigns for People Power

Friday March 15 2019

Reverend Father Denis Mayanja speaking recently

Reverend Father Denis Mayanja speaking recently at the funeral of Rev. Fr  Gerald Mukwaya at Kalungu District. Photo by Ivan Kimbowa. 

By IVAN KIMBOWA

MASAKA. Rev. Fr. Denis Ssebuggwawo Mayanja, 84, the former Masaka Diocesan Dean has described the emerging People Power political movement spearheaded by Kyandondo East Member of Parliament, Mr Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine, as a charismatic revolution which cannot be stopped by any other force different from responding to citizens’ needs.

The priest, whose latest video message has been circulating on various social network platforms, advises the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) members to think like Ugandans, has now embarked on finalising a book titled: “People Power” focusing on philosophy and spirituality.

According to Rev. Mayanja, he is conceptualizing the various civil uprisings happened across the world in support of good and democratic governance in Uganda.

The book summarises the historical factors that have shaped the politics of Uganda from the colonial days and currently determining the systems of leadership profiting individuals.
These include introduction of communism, religious fights between the Roman Catholic and Anglican Church, tribalism introduced during the Obote regime, role of cadres and the ambitions by the NRM government to rule for life.

“People Power encourages societies to know and also reflect on the fundamentals of human and basic rights. It is against violence and confrontation of people with different ideologies,” Rev. Mayanja said in an interview with Daily Monitor on Wednesday.

He further explained that talking facts is one of the tenets of a good religious leader if he is to change people’s attitude towards understanding their rights.

Although President Museveni has on several occasions warned religious leaders against pocking their noises into politics, Rev. Mayanja maintained that the prophetic voice has to come out to save God’s people whether the perpetrators of injustices like it or not.
“If it means dying preaching the truth, there is no noble death than dying for your brothers and sisters.”

He said donations given to the clergy has softened their hearts and many currently preach what is contrary to their callings.

This comes days after details of his manuscript leaked to Internal Security Organisation Operatives.
Colonel Shaban Bantariza, the deputy executive director Uganda Media Centre said Rev. Fr. Mayanja is free to write and comment on everything that he wants, but risks dividing the flock his preaches the gospel to .
“He [Rev. Mayanja] should remember that if it wasn’t for the NRM government he would not have all that freedom to sleep and also be an opposition activist,” he said, adding “I know he has knowledge in theology, but I think he lacks knowledge in politics and state craft; unlike Jesus who had both,” Colonel Bantariza said.

He advised the priest to officially declare his interests in active politics, insisting that the NRM government is still around since it is a mass party.

Rev. Mayanja further castigated government for always responding with guns and teargas whenever citizens come up to oppose injustices in the country, describing this as a cowardly act.

“Many people face injustices at the hands of state agents who are expected to protect them. It is also embarrassing for the fountain of honour to make statements supporting injustices practiced by members of the ruling party,” Rev. Mayanja said

Rev. Mayanja has also served as the director of lay leaders at the Uganda Catholic Secretariat, Spiritual Director at Bukalasa Seminary, Parish priest for three times, and the deputy head of the diocesan treasury.

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