The mindless tearing down of St Peter’s Church in Ndeeba in Kampala on Sunday night with bulldozers is shocking. This blasphemous act, captured as: ‘Fury as 45-year-old church is razed in the dead of night’, Daily Monitor of Tuesday, doesn’t paint the whole picture.
These wails and cries of the faithful of St Peter’s Anglican Church, reminds us of similar heavy-handed approach where the State and its arms and the well-connected, have invaded places of worship, government land, and inflicted pain and suffering on defenceless citizens as seen in land grab or evictions in Njeru in Buikwe, Lusanja in Wakiso, and Apaa in Amuru District, among other places.
In all these cases, the deeds violated all accepted principles of right and wrong and marked us out as a country of land grabbers; not even fearful to invade and knock down God’s house of prayer as seen on Sunday night.
Indeed, Lt Col Edith Nakalema of State House Anti-Corruption Unit, is right that this particular act was “contrary to the established procedures and guidelines of the Judiciary, Ministry of Lands and Police.”
But these vile acts as seen above, are not isolated. These senseless misadventures have continued to shine the spotlight on the government and its arms and those well-connected to the State machinery. This latest act bears the trademark of impunity and has left in ruins a once magnificent house of worship with only a column of the spire left hanging with a lonely cross atop.
This morally reprehensible deed was carried out in the thick of night with electricity blacked out in the area that also has a police post within earshot as the church was knocked down. This begs the hard question that with a curfew in place and roadblocks barring vehicular traffic after 9pm, just who are these untouchables able to drive a bulldozer and workers through the roadblocks and demolish a church without our hawk-eyed State security agents stopping them?
Nevertheless, it’s commendable that Lands minister Beti Kamya, Kampala Resident City Commissioner Faridah Mayanja, and Lt Col Nakalema are united in condemning this vile act. More reassuring is that their disapproval is strengthened by President Museveni, who has ordered prompt prosecution of those involved.
We challenge Lt Col Nakalema to carry through President Museveni’s directive and quickly have those involved prosecuted and “use full force of the law to cause justice to the believers and the Anglican community.”
From now on, Ugandans would treasure to see this resolve to catch and punish these evil doers without the government wasting taxpayers’ money to compensate such satanic acts.