do I publicly respond to reactions to my stories but I must
make an exception to, ‘I lied that Pastor Imelda’s
prayers cured my AIDS’ and ‘Dying in God’s
name; can prayers substitute ARVS?’ (The Weekly Observer,
May 8-14, 2008.)
The first was an account by Grace Kashemeire, 55, who claimed
that in 1999, Pastor Imelda Kula Namutebi asked her to declare
that her (Namutebi’s) prayers had cured her of HIV/AIDS,
which she did for seven years.
The latter was a revelation that some pastors encourage
their flock to abandon their life-saving anti-retroviral
drugs, arguing that prayers alone will heal them.
I am pleased about the compliments I received, but this
reply targets the few who told me that being a born-again
Christian, I shouldn’t have been the one to expose
Is a born-again journalist only supposed to cover religious
leaders’ positive deeds [which I have done before]
and close his eyes to the dirt?
What is the basis of that?
The Bible, the supreme law for every believer, tasks us
to defend the voiceless, but I will only quote Proverbs
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute; speak up and judge
fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
The voiceless, destitute, poor and needy in question, in
my view include people who have died or lost dear ones after
quitting ARVs; people who have been sodomised and lost property,
including houses and cars, at the hands of a few deceitful
‘pastors’ who hide under religion to fleece
The earlier pastors confront the dirt within their ranks
and stop blaming the media for their woes the better. Even
if media were to turn a deaf ear, the truth would still
come out sooner than later any way.
Recently, I was introduced to a man and I read a chapter
in the book he is writing about his experience with six
cults in Kampala. What this man actually calls cults are
well-known churches and when I asked him to be careful with
his word usage, he insisted on calling them cults, adding
that he was part of their leadership so he should know!
Does such a person need media to tell his story?
Every Monday, the Kampala Central Police Station briefs
journalists about crimes committed in the previous week.
Hardly a month passes without Police parading a ‘Pastor’,
‘Apostle’, ‘Bishop’ or ‘Prophet’
involved in incest, theft, robbery, defilement or assault!
I have indeed interacted with some and I doubt if they are
what they claim to be.
The Pentecostal Church leadership (many of the crooks claim
to be members) needs to streamline the process of bestowing
priestly titles. Not every Tom, Dick and Hurry should give
themselves labels of their liking!
Those already in ministry should be given a time-frame
within which to get trained, failure of which they forfeit
their priestly ranks. This is not an option if pastors are
to remain relevant, with the loyalty and trust of their
Has anybody reflected on why there are less cases of vice
among reverends, fathers and canons? I guess it’s
because the Catholic, Anglican and Orthodox churches subject
their clerics to formal training. They consecrate their
clerics and have clearly defined criteria for promotion.
Making ministry free entry makes it prone to abuse by unscrupulous
people, and makes the regulation of pastors even harder.
Government should also explain the links it has with certain
pastors, some of whom reportedly have military escorts.
Last year, The Weekly Observer quoted Pastor Solomon Male
as confessing that while serving as Pastor Samuel Kakande’s
deputy for four years, they used to burn sero-positive HIV
results and then tell the patients that they have been healed
In our story on ARVs versus prayers two weeks ago, we reported
that almost all the people who got ‘healed’
of HIV/AIDS at Kakande’s church, according to information
available on his website www.thekakandeministeries.org,
had tested at Bwaise Clinic and Ebenezer Limited Clinical
Laboratory! Has anybody tried to investigate this?
In 1963, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr was detained for
leading a march against segregation of blacks.
Eight clergy men from Albama penned a missive in which they
described Luther’s demonstrations “unwise”,
“untimely” and “extreme.”
In his famous April 16, 1963 Letter from Birmingham Jail,
Luther replied asking his fellow clerics why they were condemning
his remedial actions, not the unjust treatment of Negroes
in courts, the unsolved bombings of Negro homes and churches,
their disenfranchisement even in areas where they constituted
Why do people condemn the media for exposing wrongs of
pastors not their doers?
Like Luther said in his memo,
“There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs
over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the
abyss of despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate
and unavoidable impatience.”
Michael Mubangizi, The author is a Staff Reporter
with The Weekly Observer. firstname.lastname@example.org