Rev. Fr. Paul Kato of Busagula parish in Bukomansimbi district on Sunday joined the growing list of Catholic priests who openly declare their support for National Unity Platform (NUP) president, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu (Bobi Wine).
Preaching at the funeral of Leonia Nalubega at Nakawanga village, Kisekka sub county in Lwengo district, Fr. Kato asked the government not to intimidate priests for the political choices they made.
“No one should intimidate us; I participated in the elections on January 14 and again on January 20… we have a right [to choose leaders we want], and at the same time offer guidance to the people on various issues,” the priest said.
The Catholic Church came under the spotlight in the aftermath of the January 14 elections as the government accused it of siding with Kyagulanyi’s party.
At least three ministers, Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja (Agriculture), Esther Mbayo (Presidency) and Godfrey Kiwanda (Tourism) called press conferences to openly accuse the Church and Buganda Kingdom of campaigning for Kyagulanyi’s NUP.
Several priests have since shot back, telling the government that as church ministers, their roles are not limited to preaching the gospel.
“No one should have regrets for the choices we made during the elections, we should have hope that the people we elected will serve us well,” Fr. Kato told his audience.
He said that he is happy about the election results from Bukomansimbi and Masaka where the ruling party, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) hardly won a seat at both the national and local level.
“We now have to unite and fight together for the good of our country,” he said, further telling the opposition supporters no to lose hope.
Kyagulanyi in a message delivered by his deputy in charge of Buganda region, Mathias Mpuuga, said that they plan to announce their next course of action once the election petition before the Supreme Court is formally withdrawn.
“We will be in court on Tuesday to formally withdraw the petition and after which, we will tell you what is going to happen next. We want you to be firm because removing a dictatorship that has entrenched itself for 35 years is no easy feat,” Mpuuga said.
On February 24, Kyagulanyi filed an application in the Supreme Court seeking to withdraw the petition in which he is challenging President Yoweri Museveni’s re-election citing bias and lack of independence in the court.
The application will be heard on Tuesday.
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