Dr Chris Baryomunsi, the State Minister of Housing is being accused by several religious leaders in Kanungu district of ordering attacks on them.
The church leaders in a meeting on Tuesday appealed on President Yoweri Museveni to intervene and reign in on the minister, who also doubles as the MP for Kinkiizi East.
In the recent past, the minister has been named in the violent attacks on Rev. Herbert Kiconco, the Kinkizi Diocesan cashier, Abdallah Nzigira the Chairperson of the Muslim Supreme Council for Kanungu and Rukungiri districts, and also the recent attack on Rutenga Catholic Parish by men believed to be the minister’s guards.
During this raid, the men reportedly arrived in vehicle number UBD 340R that allegedly belongs to the minister’s wife Fosca Twebaze Baryomunsi.
These made a forceful entry into the house of the priest Rev. Fr. Andrew Tumukurate and started destroying the house items.
These are said to have damaged sacred objects among them, the Monstrance where the blessed sacrament is kept.
After damaging the items, the assailants bundled Fr. Tumukurate in the car and drove him off.
He says he was tortured for several minutes and was later dumped at Kanungu Police Station.
The priest also says the kidnappers took his money totalling 19.4 million shillings and shared it amongst themselves in the car. Of this money, he says 12million belonged to the Rutenga Catholic Church SACCO.
On Tuesday, religious leaders from different churches met at Rutenga parish to support Tumukurate.
During the meeting, the clerics condemned the actions of the minister
Rev. Canon Keneth Kanyankole the Kinkizi Diocesan secretary who led a team of 7 priests from the Anglican church said the attack on the catholic priest was an attack on all religions and God.
He added that on a number of occasions religious leaders in the area have suffered at the hands of Minister Baryomunsi.
Abdallah Nzigira the Chairperson of the Muslim Supreme Council for Kanungu and Rukungiri districts told the meeting that he was also attacked by the minister’s operatives who were travelling in numberless vehicles.
Nzigira claims to have been attacked along with one Kato Johnbosco of Bishop Combon College.
The assailants, he says, accused him of supporting Deus Nkwasibwe who was challenging Baryomunsi for the NRM parliamentary flag.
Kigezi Inter-Religious Council Chairperson Rev. Fr. Gaetano Batanyenda during the meeting, appealed to President Yoweri Museveni to come out and punish Minister Baryomunsi.
The minister however, has since denied these accusations and condemned the attacks on the Church leaders.
Commenting recently on the attack on the Rutenga church priest he said; “I am saddened by the news of the kidnapping of Rev. Fr. Andrew Tumukuratire but also dismayed by the allegations of my involvement. I hold the Clergy in high regard and with utmost respect, more especially Reverend Fathers of the Roman Catholic church,” he said.
The minister vowed to work with relevant authorities to come to the bottom of this matter.