Pastors Advocate for Enhanced Security Following Pastor Bugingo’s Shooting Incident
Ugandan pastors are calling for increased security measures to protect their lives in the wake of a shooting incident targeting Pastor Aloysius Bugingo in Namungona, a suburb of Kampala. The incident, which occurred on January 3, 2023, resulted in the tragic death of Pastor Bugingo’s bodyguard, Richard Muhumuza, from the elite Special Forces Command (SFC).
Pastor Martin Ssempa of Makerere Community Church expressed concerns about the safety of pastors, emphasizing that their lives are in danger. He pointed to the attempted assassination of Pastor Bugingo and suggested that it might be linked to his preaching against homosexuality. Pastor Ssempa, who claims to have received death threats due to his evangelism against the vice, urged President Museveni to enhance security for pastors in the country.
The motive behind the attack on Pastor Bugingo remains unclear, as police have not provided a clear motive. However, Pastor Ssempa’s theory adds a layer of speculation, linking the incident to the preacher’s stance against homosexuality.
In response to the shooting, Pastor Solomon Male of Arising for Christ Church questioned why a pastor would have SFC soldiers, usually reserved for politicians, as bodyguards. He expressed a belief that pastors should trust in God rather than relying on guns and guards, questioning Pastor Bugingo’s decision to have an SFC guard.
Pastor Male also suggested that some clergymen might be involved in unethical activities such as sodomy, fraud, and land grabbing. He speculated that individuals affected by these actions might resort to hiring killers due to a perceived failure to obtain justice.
Pastor Zachariah Sserwadda of Evangel Church in Jinja condemned the attempt on Pastor Bugingo’s life and called on the government to protect all Ugandans from such attacks. Despite acknowledging Bugingo’s involvement in politics, he doubted that the situation could escalate to the point of an assassination attempt.
Reflecting on the incident, Pastor Paul Batambuze of New Creation Church in Jinja City deemed it unfortunate for a pastor not engaged in active politics to face an assassination attempt. He joined others in praying for peace in the country while expressing concern over the atmosphere of fear that has enveloped many pastors in Uganda.