A group of followers for Prophet Elvis Allan Mbonye have said they are being persecuted over their stand on the controversial proposed religious and faith organisations policy.
Collins Tugumisirize and Agnes Namaganda told journalists on Tuesday at Serena Kampala Hotel that as business people they are being persecuted for being members of the Zoe Ministries led by Mbonye.
They envisage that the “persecutions” will affect employment, businesses, economy and social patterns.
“Such misrepresentation and singling out of our religious leaders and worship centres by government can bring about religious sectarianism and promotion of religious stigmatization in the market place and employment. It should be condemned,”Tugumisiriize said.
“The public may perceive what is negatively being portrayed about Prophet Mbonye as true and regard him as evil, yet it is not.”
This comes on the backdrop of a civil litigation filed in the High Court by Tugumisirize over persecution to Mbonye and his followers over the proposed law to regulate religions.
“Already those leaders from the body of Christ who have taken a stand against the policy have faced some form of persecution by the authorities, including Prophet Elvis Allan Mbonye with no justifiable cause for the unwarranted charges,” Tugumisirize said in an affidavit before the High Court.
In a suit where the CID Director, AIGP Grace Akullo and the Attorney General are respondents, he said that as part of the persecution, police has deliberately failed to expedite investigations on Mbonye.
He also wants court to stop Mbonye’s appearances on police body to Kibuli stopped.
“We cannot see this going on and we just sit back because if it goes on, other religions will eventually be affected. Such acts just trigger off other injustices and before you know it, government may start denying businessmen contracts basing on their religious differences,” Tugumisirize said in his affidavit.
Government through the Ministry of Ethics and Integrity headed by Fr.Simon Lokodo proposed the National Policy on Religious and Faith-Based Organisations which among others will help regulate the various religious sects in the country.
According to the new policy, faith-based institutions will be required to train clerics for their respective denominations and it will also put in place procedures to be followed by whoever wants to start a new church and will be required to declare their source of income.
The policy will also seek to enforce transparency and financial accountability in religious institutions.
A number of religions including Muslims, Anglican and Catholics among others have recognized theological schools from where their various leaders are trained from before they start doing the work of God.
The new regulations have however met stiff resistance from the new generation churches especially the born again and Pentecostal churches.
Fr.Simon Lokodo recently said some pastors and church leaders are rogues who need to be dealt with by strict laws.
“Some of them abuse their followers. I have so many reports about them in my office and I am looking for them,”Lokodo said recently.