Salt Media founder and renowned Prosperity Pastor Aloysius Bugingo of House of Prayer Ministries may need to change tact in the way he handles separations from those who have been loyal to him.
Not so long ago, Bugingo publicly embarrassed his News Editor Tera Kaaya by not only sacking him during a sermon but also alleging that he was disturbing workers. This time, Bugingo’s foe is more formidable than he wants to accept. It is none other than his wife of 29 years Teddy Naluswa.
Bugingo’s highly publicised marital transgression has become tabloid fodder across the country after Naluswa and her daughter Doreen Gift hit back at him after he allegedly tried to force the former to sign divorce papers.
The infamous fall out is likely to end up in courts of law. But in the court of public opinion, many have come to view Bugingo’s move as a plot to victimize the ‘weak’ woman with whom he accumulated the wealth he boasts. And as Pastor Solomon Male of Arising for Christ Ministries has noted, Naluswa is right to refuse to sign divorce especially because it involves a lot of property. As such many view Bugingo’s moves as aimed at side-lining his partner from the business empire they started together many years ago.
The unfolding drama had stayed under wraps for several months, because Naluswa acted more civil. She told the media that her husband stopped going home in 2016 when he allegedly stopped coming home regularly. She claims this is when he was rumoured to be seeing a one Susan Makula Nantaba, one of the senior management staff at the Lungujja-based Salt Media Agencies. Makula is a regular guest at a Monday night show called The Junction.
“When I inquired why he was doing that, he threatened me that he was going to tell church members, that I and our 27-year old daughter wanted to steal church land, so as to tarnish our names,” Naluswa told the New Vision.
But Naluswa had played the victim and vulnerable card, against a powerful pastor.
For example when Bugingo removed his marriage ring and threw it into the crowd while preaching one day, she kept hers and kept the door to their house open.
Naluswa’s claim that she pardoned her husband for his sins and in fact still loves him has already attracted overwhelming public sympathy. The social media has been largely unanimous in condemning Bugingo.
Her patience waned when he recently tried to force her to sign divorce papers, in what she says is a plot aimed at giving him the green light to remarry.
From what we have so far seen and heard, Bugingo has become a victim of his own loose lips. He has used the power and influence of his media and the pulpit to attack his wife as well as the family – calling them thieves and self-seekers.
Naluswa has hinted she may not block the divorce but wants a share of the estate she helped build. The empire includes the expansive House of Prayer Ministries International (HPMI) that includes the prime land located in Kikoni Makerere.
Bugingo claims his wife is simply greedy and wants to grab a piece of church property. During one Sunday service, Bugingo told his congregation that his wife and daughter Doreen Gift want to take control of the Church Property in a deceitful manner.
“This land does not belong to me, my wife or even my children. This is church land. My wife can go hang,” Bugingo publicly told his followers.
He apologised to the faithful for initially falling into a trap when he registered the assets of the church in the names of family members.
He said: “I will apologise to you Church, I had initially fallen in the same trap in 2010 when I registered the ministry in my name and that of my wife and child like how other city pastors do but I changed and added more people because this is God’s work and not mine as a person. My wife and daughter wanted me to remove all the rest except themselves and they even wanted more shares than myself.”
Bugingo also told the believers that ever since he kicked off the project to construct God’s House, many people including fellow Pastors have been trying to work with his wife and daughter to fail the grand plan.
The Canaan Pentagon Church is expected to cost over UGX70 billion and so through a fundraising campaign launched this year, more than a Shs1 billion has been collected.
He said the two (wife and daughter) wanted him to behave like his non transparent predecessors who registered the Church Ministries in the names of their own children and spouses as well as themselves.
“My wife was for long uncomfortable with me for declaring a full accountability during the Bat Valley Fundraising that resulted into the raising of USD5 million which we used to buy the Canaan land. She even stopped coming to Canaan to preach the word of God as a way of protesting the inclusion of Pastor Francis Mutawe and other HPMI actors in the company documents under which the ministry was incorporated,” revealed Bugingo.
Whatever the case, Bugingo might be the victim of his own arsenal. His fights are not new to the public.