“It is a shame for Pentecostal Church ministers calling yourselves bishops and other names when a big group of your followers are in poverty. I hear that even pastors stop people from going to hospitals, which is so bad because science works together with God” (…) “If you are a leader, in a country like Uganda that has all the natural resources and still people cannot afford to have three meals a day, it means there is a big problem, but to my surprise, some of you are proud because you are leading people who are even infected with jiggers” (…) “Let people worship their own God so long as they follow the laws. Stop internal fights because for us who are not frequent church goers, we have failed to understand what to follow. When you are involved in wars even with other religions, this will not only affect you, but also the development of this great nation” – Maj Gen Kahinda Otafiire (Milton Bandiho – ‘Otafiire: Pentecostal churches keeping the faithful poorer’ 17.05.2022, Daily Monitor).
It is really strange that a Minister and Maj. Gen. who has gone through the ranks and had a life-long career in the National Resistance Movement (NRM) to say this in 2022. The man has been a commander and a minister over the last few decades. Heck, his been a Member of Parliament for much of it too. Maj. Gen. Otafiire has been a high ranking official and been appointed to offices of importance for years.
Otafiire is one of the reason why the state isn’t moving forward or getting better. It is his government and the policies his promoting on a daily basis, which is a reason for continued poverty. Yes, the pastors, the leaders of church and clerics should be worried and not only be pastrepreneurs. They should teach the gospel and also help their communities. Not only collecting tithes or donations from their congregations, but use those money to help the ones in need and have projects in the community they are a part of, which plenty of churches does. Therefore, Otafiire should know about that and look into his own acts.
Because, he spoke about this to pastors, priests and the likes. I will take a passage from the book of Luke, which seems fitting for the current state of mind of Maj. Gen. Otafiire.
The Bible says:
“37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
39 He also told them this parable: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40 The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.
41 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye” (The Bible – New International Version, Luke 6: 37-42).
Why do I use this scripture today? Well, Otafiire is judging the pastors and priests with contempt. His judging their actions, but his forgetting his own role in it all. To make matters worse is that he could have ensured that there wouldn’t be any poverty or lesser extent himself. For years in office and as a high ranking official he could have forwarded policies, budget posts and whatnot to make a difference.
We only knows that the NRM produces wasteful and lack-of-accountability get-rich-quick-schemes which goes nowhere and only enriches the men on the top. The elites are eating and the poor are starving. That’s how the NRM is operating… while promising to secure people’s future and steady progress. However, nothing ceases to move and no real advances is in the republic. Development projects are stalled, made for wrong purposes or cash-cows for the developers. While the farmers, the added value projects aren’t living up to it’s promises. That’s why him telling this to the pastors, priests and clerics is a bit out of touch.
Otafiire can say and speak ill of the leadership of the churches, that they are taking advantage and being greedy. Some might are using their congregations and churchgoers as a means-to-an-end. However, the same is what the state does to every single citizen. As the state is using the citizens and their poverty to get grants, loans and development funds to cover it’s shortfalls in its bloated budgets.
Otafiire should be concerned how the government he has been a part of much of his life haven’t helped the poor or given them a chance to get out of it. The Maj. Gen. should be shocked that with all this time and opportunities the state haven’t been capable or fixed the policies to ensure a better tomorrow. Nevertheless, that has never happened and with the NRM at the helm… it never will be.
That is why these lectures from Otafiire is insulting. As he has sit by the side of the throne for decades. He has been eating, entitled and enriched himself. Otafiire and the likes are enjoying all the perks of life and can easily access health-care services abroad. While the likes he speaks too cannot even afford Panadol to cure headaches. Therefore, he should ask himself what he could do and what sort of office he serves. As he has power and influence to make a difference, but he chooses not too. Peace.