President Yoweri Museveni has promised to hold a discussion with Minister of Ethics and Integrity, Rev Fr Simon Lokodo, regarding his controversial policy proposal to have all religious leaders undergo mandatory training in Theology.
Museveni said Monday that he was yet to find time to meet and talk to the minister on this matter.
According to Lokodo’s National Policy on Religious and Faith-Based Organisations which he unveiled in 2018, all religious leaders including pastors and Muslim imams will be required to have this minimum academic qualification.
The policy was sternly rejected mostly by leaders of the Born Again Pentecostal Churches, who believe it targeted them since most of the other denominations already undergo theological training.
While meeting with Born Again pastors in Lugogo this morning, President Museveni expressed his disapproval of the new policy, saying church leaders shouldn’t be required to take up formal training.
“Simon Peter had not been to the Seminary,” said the president to a huge ululation from the crowd of pastors.”
“The problem you have is that this man you call president read the Bible very well.”
But according to Fr Lokodo, the new proposal is intended among others to stop exploitation of believers by some dishonest clerics in the country.
Lokodo said last year that some church leaders in the country had taken advantage of loopholes in the law to manipulate Ugandans and extort money from them.
The policy among others requires aspiring church leaders to declare their sources of income, whether locally and internationally sourced.
Critics of the policy, mostly pastors however, warned that the it was likely to “crush the church.”
“The policy has ill-intentions and we suspect the minister’s motive at this time. We therefore need a neutral person in charge of it,” said Pastor David Kiganda of the Christianity Focus Center.
President Museveni however, reassured today that the misunderstands will soon be ironed out
“We shall discuss the (Lokodo issue) biblically,” he said. “I have not had time to discuss with Lokodo, but I don’t see any big issue.”