By Peter Ssebulime
Kampala: Government has revealed that they have finalized countrywide and regional consultative meetings involving key stakeholders who operate faith and religious based organisations in Uganda, in regard to the National Policy on Religious and Faith based Organizations.
In 2006 government embarked on the National Policy on Religious and Faith Based Organizations, with an aim of putting in place a regulatory framework on how freedom of worship should be exercised.
Rev.Fr.Simon Lokodo, the minister of State for Ethics and Integrity, told the media on Friday in Kampala that;
“Due to lack of aregulatory framework, members of the public are facing a lot of challenges which include manipulation, exploitation of followers, loss of property to pastors among others which need to be solved.”
Lukodo added that; “Although most Pentecostal religious leaders are against this policy there must be a mechanism of vetting, monitoring and identifying the unethical faith practitioners in order to protect citizens from the harmful effects of these unethical religious practices.”
He therefore called upon all stakeholders to join government to debate and come up with a harmonious position on how people can enjoy their freedom of worship as enshrined in the constitution without exploitation.
Canon Aron Mwesigye, the Director for Ethics and religious Affairs in the Ministry f state for ethics and integrity, said that claims going around that all pastors are supposed to be degree holders are just rumours.
He however, noted that as the Ministry of Ethics, they believer that all pastors and clergy have to undergo training in order to streamline service delivery and that it’s the mandate of government to ensure that this is achieved.