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Pastors react to report that govt plans to probe their sources of wealth

The Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Charles Elem Ogwal. Courtesy photo.

The Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Charles Elem Ogwal says they intend to investigate and screen all Christian pastors to understand their sources of wealth, a report says.

Mr Ogwal, according to the Daily Monitor, saying that hundreds of pastors have become “conduits of illicit money used to finance crimes which is challenge globally.”

The 57-year-old prosecutor appointed by President Museveni in 2014 started his legal career in 1985 when he joined the Justice ministry as State attorney.

Prior to the appointment, he was serving as Assistant DPP in charge of international affairs and field operations. Mr Ogwal is today responsible for the coordination and supervision of all criminal prosecution cases countrywide and ensure provision of quality services.

“We impounded a Shs700 million Toyota Lexus from a pastor who claims it was his present. This gave us a further insight to investigate pastors. Rich criminals have found pastoring a very fertile ground to hide crime,” Mr Ogwal said, according to the newspaper, during the third Joan Kagezi Memorial lecture.

Responding to the development, some Christians criticized Mr Ogwal saying such efforts should be centered on investigating government officials who embezzle public funds.

On the other and, individuals like Mr David Opio, who is the senior Pastor/Founder of Destiny family church Tororo, welcomed the move.

“However, it should cut across the board. Pastors, Sheikhs, Reverends, priests among others. What about police or public servants as well as civil servants who own properties and other assets worth more that their entire life time earning, Pr David Opio said.

From Fort Portal, Kabiito Kato, a lecturer at Mountains of the Moon University, and Pastor of King Shepherd Christian Church (Freedom Ministry Alliance) said everyone should be accountable not only the pastors.

“Our political leaders also have wealth that is questionable,” he noted.

Christians Speak Out

Mweeza Moses, a resident of  Rukungiri explained, “I am not surprised about this move. A bigger percentage of religious leaders have come out to speak their minds. Most of them speak out evils in the current regime and that’s why they are being castigated,”

“There is this sudden rush by the government to collect taxes quick, of late. Unfortunately only God, those thieves and the devil, know how these taxes are spent. Definitely not on roads, medical centers, etc. I wish the government would put in as much enthusiasm in the minimum wage bill,” One Christian, Clara K Njangali said.

Okalany Edmond Emmanuel wondered, “Why didn’t they screen them when they were poor to investigate the source of their poverty.”

What notably remains unclear is what standard (net worth) the State officials will use to grade a Church leader as either too rich or not.

By Staff Reporter.

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