Kitgum district has kicked out an American pastor for operating an illegal church and suspected child trafficking. The American pastor only identified as Zein, has been the founder of Calvary Church in Kitgum town council. It is alleged that through his church Pastor Zein has been convincing parents that he wants to sponsor their children in schools and provide all their needs. As a result, five parents gave him their children.
However, when Kitgum district officials visited his church in Corner Alango in Kitgum town, they found the children locked up at the pastor’s home. On interrogations, the officials discovered that Zein was processing passports to take the children outside the country without the consent of their parents. Geoffrey Oguti, the Kitgum district speaker says that it all after three parents from Orom sub-county complained to the district probation officer about the suspicious activities of the pastor.
He says when they visited his residence; they found that Pastor Zein was operating illegally in Kitgum. Oguti says the team discovered that Zein has been going to the parents with adoption forms, convincing them to sign without proper guidance. He says when the issue reached the district; they intervened immediately to save the situation. Oguti says the district resolved that they do not need the pastor anymore and have ordered him out with immediate effect;
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Oguti has lso warned parents against dealing with foreigners without engaging the district leadership. He says such people take the advantage of ignorance of the parents to traffic their children out of the country;
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Pastor Zein could not be reached for clarifications. Several visits to the Calvary church yielded no fruits as he was reported out of the district. Kitgum police has not commented whether they would prefer any charges against the pastor. When asked the District Police Commander, Nasur Oringa said he did not have details of the issues raised against the pastor and referred our reporter to the district probation officer Lucy Lakot. When our reporter visited the office of the probation Officer she declined to comment on the matter and walked out.
Kitgum has had several child related offences in the past. Two months ago, 76 children were found bundled in two huts where they were being illegally accommodated. Two years ago, over 80 children from Kitgum and Pader were rescued from Nakasongola where they were reportedly smuggled by people who claimed they would educate them.