Police hunt pastor for preaching against census

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Police hunt pastor for preaching against census
SP Patrick Jimmy Okema

Police in Alebtong district, Uganda, are cracking down on individuals using religious rhetoric to discourage participation in the national census.

Five residents of Alye Ward, Alebtong Town Council, were arrested for preaching against the census, national ID registration, and immunization programs. Authorities allege the suspects, identified as Daniel Obangakene, Jesse Ogenrwot, Emmanuel Abel, Emmanuel Atekirwot, and Daniel Poyopira, claimed these initiatives are "satanic" and urged residents to avoid them.

North Kyoga Regional Police Spokesperson, SP Patrick Jimmy Okema, confirmed the arrests and ongoing investigation. The suspects reportedly named Pastor Silver Obua of Peace of Trumpet Ministry Uganda in Lira City as their inspiration. Police are searching for Pastor Obua for questioning.

The five individuals face charges of "common nuisance" for disrupting public order. Authorities confiscated a speaker, microphone, and bicycle used in their preaching activities.

Launched on May 9th, 2024, the Ugandan National Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) census aims to gather crucial data on population demographics, socioeconomics, and geographical distribution. Enumerators are deployed in villages, conducting door-to-door surveys using electronic devices. The success of the census relies on accurate information provided by residents.

This incident highlights potential challenges to the census. Previous reports documented arrests of individuals discouraging participation in the national exercise. By addressing these disruptions and encouraging public cooperation, Ugandan authorities can strive for a successful census. Accurate data collection is vital for informed decision-making and effective resource allocation across the country.

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