Kigezi, Uganda | URN | The decision by Kigezi Diocese to ban political campaigns in Church has drawn mixed feelings among Christians. Apparently, incumbents and aspiring politicians would be given a platform during church services to woo voters on their side.
However, Rt. Rev. George Bagamuhunda, the Bishop of Kigezi Diocese, says politicians will no longer be allowed to campaign during the services. According to Bagamuhunda, the decision to stop politicians from campaigning in church was reached after realising that politicians have started distracting Christians from worship to their campaigns.
He says as a result, they have realised that Christians return to their homes untransformed by the church message. Bagamuhunda explains that people go to church to receive God’s word to help them repent and forgive each other than listen to politicians.
According to the new guidelines, Bagamuhunda says only incumbents will be given a platform to strictly update the congregation about government programs. He however, says the Diocese has resolved to spare minutes to bless aspirants and incumbents.
The decision has drawn mixed reactions from Christians with some supporting the new guidelines while others say they favor incumbents. Kenneth Jogo Biryabarema, the Rubanda District LC 5 Chairperson, says the new guidelines are welcome because some politicians had turned the church into a platform for insulting each other.
He says the proposal to bless all contestants jointly is better because it favors and does not divert the congregation from worshiping to God.
Keti Baryayanga, the Kijuguta Ward Councilor in Northern division, says she has no problem with the new guidelines since they were passed by the church authority.
Michael Kwarikunda Mbareeba, the Rukiga District Male Youth Councilor has thrown his weight behind the decision of the diocese, saying campaigns create enmity among Christians. He also says that the political campaigns in church are not good because both politicians and residents are equal before God.
But Julius Barusya,Kabale, the Kamuganguzi sub county LC V councilor, says it isn’t practically possible to ban political campaigns from church service given the fact that even some clerics contest for political seats.
He says there is no harm for politicians to campaign during church service especially for those who contribute towards uplifting places of worship.
Enid Origumisiriza, who is eyeing the seat of Kabale Woman Member of parliament, says although the guidelines are welcome, they will limit the chances of political entrants to introduce themselves to voters.