Ugandan ‘Jesus’ arrested for refusing to be enumerated in ‘satanic’ census exercise

Ugandan 'Jesus' arrested for refusing to be enumerated in ‘satanic’ census exercise
Jesus Navas Vera (Left) and Eve Melisha (Right), who is believed to be the wife of the self-proclaimed Jesus.

Luwero, Uganda | By Michael Wandati | In Wobulenzi Town Council, Luwero District, police have arrested a self-proclaimed messiah named Jesus, along with his followers, for refusing to be enumerated in the ongoing National Housing and Population Census (NHPC).

Daniel Kikonyogo, the Local Council 1 chairperson, reported that the man, who calls himself Jesus Navas Vera and leads the Star Glopper Eden Church, along with his followers, evaded the census enumerators when they arrived at their premises.

His followers say they do not believe in the exercise.

Kikonyogo added that the group settled in the zone three years ago and they have since refused to participate in any government programme including the National ID enrollment making it difficult to know his real name.

Navas told this publication at Wobulenzi Police Station that he is the Son of God and is already counted by his heavenly Father who sent him on earth to save his people.

He warned policemen from joking with “the Son of God” and wondered where they got the powers to arrest him.

A follower who identified herself as Eve Melisha told this publication that they detest all services of an earthly government, saying there was no need to count them.

Melisha, who is believed to be the wife of the self-styled Jesus, added that even their children are taught at home because they don’t believe in secular education.

John Ojokuna, the Luwero District Police Commander says the self-styled Jesus insisted that he did not want to be counted and would face charges of defying the government programme as stipulated in the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) Act.

Over 100 families in Kamira Sub County in Luwero who subscribe to Enjiri cult have also refused to be counted insisting that the exercise is Satanic.

Also Read: ‘Prophet’ jailed 40 years for defiling, infecting 17-year-old with HIV

In 2016, Solomon Semakula Jonathan, the self-styled ‘Jesus Christ’ from Nakaseke district was also arrested and charged with belonging to an unlawful society contrary to section 56 (1) and 2 (a) of the Penal Code Act. He was also charged with managing an unlawful society contrary to section 57 of the penal code act.

He was arrested after discouraging his followers from seeking treatment from hospitals and participating in any government programme.

On May, 10, 2024, UBOS embarked on a 10-day census exercise themed; “It matters to be counted.”

Meanwhile, UBOS has revealed that 30% of the approximately 8.7 million households across the country have been covered in the first three days of the exercise.

Addressing journalists during a weekly press briefing at the Police Headquarters in Naguru, on Monday, Dr. Albert Byamugisha the chairperson of the UBOS board of directors revealed that more enumerators have been deployed in the Greater Kampala Metropolitan area in a bid to beat the set deadline of May 19th.

Earlier, UBOS announced a one-day extension of the census exercise in Kampala, Wakiso and Mukono to May 20th, to enable enumerators make up for the time lost on the first day due to technical glitches experienced with the Computer-Assisted Personal Interviews (CAPI) tablets.