During the time of Passover (Easter), Jesus was about to be executed by the Romans; and he knew it. He was with his disciples and he explained to them that as he was going away, “My peace I give you, the kind of peace that only I can give. It isn’t like the peace that this world can give.” (The Bible, John 14: 27).
But as people are “celebrating” Easter, more than 2, 000 years down the road, they are not even listening to those words and that voice. If they were, they would have taken into account that phrase – It is not like the peace this world can give – because if they did they would not have been surprised on what took place in Kampala on Easter Sunday.
Then, they would have anticipated the man who ran with a “weapon” over the railing in front of an altar in Namirembe Cathedral when Bishop Wilberforce Kityo Luwalira, was celebrating mass, intending to strike him. Mercifully, the man was manhandled by alert parishioners before he could reach his target. In any case the man had fallen down immobile.
Or, that, Catholic Archbishop, KizitoLwanga, of RubagaCatholic Cathedral, would not have complained of priests, armed with revolvers, and apparently also operatives of the Internal Security Organization (ISO), tagging along himself, intending to him harm. This would be a double reference to the suspicion that the prelates are not in tandem with the interests and activities of the NRM regime.
Indeed, in a ceremony in KitgumBoma Grounds, in which the Municipal MP, Grace Anywar, was swearing her allegiance to the NRM party she had crossed over to, President Yoweri Museveni lambasted the religious “clergy, academicians and the media” for being fervently “opposed” to the regime.
This was on the back of his derision that the Opposition was weak and inconsequent: that in effect meant that the three mentioned, were taking the place of the moribund Opposition.
On this, Lwanga was quick to affirm his “love” for Museveni and the regime, but he was not distancing the priests from serving the very regime that they had gone into a double employment against him.
It was left to the minister of State for Higher Education, Chrysostom Muyingo, to protest the innocence of the regime towards the clergy, since he was in the church celebrating the Easter Sunday.
There has been torment between the prelates and politicians over influence over the people. The clergy says that they have a duty to inform the people about the shortcomings of the Government towards serving them. The politicians are adamant that they are the only legitimate people “mandated to serve” the people, which they say they are doing.
In this facing-off, and during his own Easter service, Protestant Archbishop, StanleyNtagali, pointed out the inadequacies of the Government towards the people. In effect, he turned his attention to the plight of the youth as a result of lack of employment.
Ntagali moaned the poverty and lack in the villages that has forced many youth to the urban areas, where because of the following consequent lack, they have been further lured by human traffickers to go abroad to inhospitable countries where they are forced into modern slave labour and sexual slavery.
In a Pentecostal service, a pastor fastened to this, particularly accusing the Arab countries for this mishap. A case in point of a Phillipino house servant came into the picture, as it has also become a global story of this evil.
A Kuwaiti couple is facing murder charges for murdering the woman and stowing her body away in a fridge for more than one year. This has caused a rift between the Phillipines and that Arab world on the issue of this migrant labour.
Yet for migrant labourers from Uganda, this situation has not been addressed with the Arab world and Thailand, where there are reports of migrant workers being murdered at the whim of these employers, after taking away their passports, thus denying them any form of escape.
This comes back to the responsibility of whom: the Government of the clergy?
The clergy preaching to the congregation, claiming that the Government has shirked its responsibility in getting the youth to be employed in their own country; or, the Government insisting that they are on top of the situation in that the migrant kyeyolabourers send back home the much-needed foreign exchange dollars!
This is certainly the “peace” this world gives to its people. And against the peace Christ gives, for those who listen to his word