An Anglican congregation in Budaka District has thrown out its priest because of a land conflict.
Residents of Kameruka Sub-County are constructing the first-ever secondary school in the sub-county. The construction of the school is funded by the government as part of a program to increase the access to Universal Secondary Education.
Early this month, a letter purportedly written the Bishop of Bukedi Diocese, Nicodemus Okille, ordering a halt on the construction, was circulated. In the letter the Bishop claims that the land on which the school is located is church land and any development is illegal.
Yesterday morning, at about 5:30 a.m., more than 100 people armed with pangas, drums and whistled invaded the home of the Kameruka parish priest, Reverend Kyoma. They ordered that the priest grant them access to the land immediately in order to enable them to complete the construction of the school.
However after five hours of heated discussion and argument, no consensus was reached. Reverend Kyoma told the crowd to pack up and go.
Incensed by this, the crowd went into town, hired a lorry and packed all Reverend Kyoma's belonging on it. With police escort, they ordered him out of Kameruka and told him never to return.
The LC5 chairperson of Budaka, Sam Mulomi, says the residents had hoped to end the stalemate peacefully. He says they had a genuine concern that the church was denying them an essential service and needed assurances that they would be granted access to free education.
Bukedi Diocese has not offered public comment on the matter.