How thugs attacked seminary, hacked 2 priests, stole from God

Brother John Bosco Mwaasa, 65, who was injured during the raid on Nswanjere Junior Seminary on March 20, 2023. PHOTO/NOELINE NABUKENYA

What you need to know:

  • Nswanjere Junior Seminary, which is located 32kms on Kampala-Mityana highway, was founded in 1964.

Thugs who attacked Nswanjere Minor Seminary in Muduuma Sub-county, Mpigi District, were targeting money and other material things, preliminary findings indicate.

In the wee hours of Monday morning, the thugs descended on the seminary and injured the spiritual director, Rev Fr Emmanuel Mukukule and Brother John Bosco Mwaasa. They vandalised the tabernacle or sacrament house and stole several other valuable items.

According to Bro Mwaasa, one of the survivors, the attackers moved to each and every building and office with ease, expecting no reprisal.

“It was raining when the gang of thugs broke into our premises. They first broke into the chapel, destroyed the tabernacle, poured the Holy Eucharist down and took the holy chalice. They then proceeded to different buildings and offices and left many of the doors broken,” he said.

“I woke up after hearing an alarm from one of the fathers, and I saw men trying to cut the Rector [Rev Fr John Bosco Kiggundu]’s door to his bedroom. At first, I thought maybe the Rector was sick and these men had come to help take him to the hospital. I never suspected them to be thugs,” he added.

Bro Mwaasa further explained that as he was moving towards the group, the Vice Rector, Fr Godfrey Kyeyune, signalled to him that they were bad people.

“I tried to escape, but one of the men pounced on me. They immediately asked for money, which I didn’t have. And one wanted to hit my head, but I blocked the metallic object they were using and it only hit my left arm and broke one of the bones. And since I had no money, they took my mobile phone,” he explained.

After failing to get money, Bro Mwaasa said the thugs took him to the Rector’s room and made both of them lie down as they continued to demand for cash.

A day before the attack, the seminarians had just had their visitation day and chances are high that attackers knew management had collected some money from parents clearing school fees balances and other requirements.

According to Mr Joseph Ssempijja, the chairperson Nswanjere Village, the attackers made away with various items, including a television set, a laptop, mobile phones, the holy chalice and an unspecified amount of money.

According to a neighbour of the seminary, who preferred anonymity, despite the school having a fence, it lacked armed guards and only relied on those using batons and arrows.

“They [seminary] don’t have any armed guard at the gate and I also doubt whether they have any CCTV cameras around,” the source said.

The area defence secretary, Mr Gabriel Lule, said the two armed guards currently at the seminary were deployed a day after the attack.

In a statement, the Kampala Archdiocese Chancellor, Fr Pius Male Ssentumbwe, said following such a cruel incident, all Christians have to join in prayer to pray for healing, repentance and restitution of God’s Glory.

“Because of this act of violation, the Archbishop summons all people of God into a Triduum of prayer for an act of reparation,” he said.

The three days of reparation started yesterday and ends tomorrow. Bro Mwaasa was discharged from hospital yesterday morning while Fr Mukukule is still nursing wounds at Lubaga Hospital.

Mr Luke Owoyesigire, the Kampala Metropolitan Police deputy spokesperson, said investigations into the matter are still ongoing.

“The police assure the public that it will do everything within its power to bring the perpetrators to justice and ensure the safety and security of the residents in the area,” Mr Owosiyegire said in a statement yesterday.

About seminary
Nswanjere Junior Seminary, which is located 32kms on Kampala-Mityana highway, was founded in 1964 to act as a ‘nursery bed’ for priestly vocations. It admits Catholic boys between the ages of 9 and 13 in Primary Four and Primary Five but classes run up to Primary Seven.


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