Church in Uganda caught in real estate scandal
The Catholic Church in Uganda is caught up in a real-estate scandal - which observers characterise as the worst scandal in over 100 years of Catholic history in the African country.
A hundred acres of land belonging to the Church, in both urban and rural settings, have been sold off without the knowledge or approval of the hierarchy, according to recent reports. The media revelations suggest that real estate speculators, aided by corrupt clerics, have made enormous proceeds on the sales.
Cardinal Emmanuel Wamala of Kampala has called for an investigation of the sales, saying that properties were transferred illegally, without the approval of the bishops. He did not indicate what action the hierarchy would take against priests who were involved in the sales.
Catholic World News
SOUTHERN AFRICAN BISHOPS WARN ABOUT USE OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOOD
The Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference has warned that genetically modified food aid being used to feed millions of starving people in southern Africa could harm the region in the long term.
The bishops called for donated maize to be ground before distribution, saying that, if planted, "genetically altered maize will contaminate local varieties through pollen drift."
Such contamination "will ultimately make local farmers dependent on overseas corporations for seed and herbicides, and African countries could lose access to the European export market, which is closed to such genetically modified products, causing long-term devastation to the struggling southern African economies," the bishops said in a Sept. 20 statement.
ZIMBABWE CHURCH LEADERS ARRESTED WHILE PRAYING
Ten Bulawayo church leaders, arrested while praying for a detained colleague, outside police station in February, are to be charged again under the infamous Public Order and Security Act (POSA).
A month before the presidential elections, police using the POSA, denied Christians permission to hold a traditional prayer procession in Bulawayo. They then arrested Anglican priest Fr Scott, who was organising the prayer session and detained him at the central police station.
Worried about his safety, the ten church leaders from the Catholic, Methodist, Anglican and Presbyterian congregations went to the station but were denied permission to see him. They were then arrested while praying for Scott and charged with contravening a section of POSA.
The group were alleged to have "in concert unlawfully and intentionally contravened the POSA by blocking the movement of traffic in and out of the Bulawayo central charge office and disturbing the free movement of the public outside the charge office, thereby causing disorder and disturbing the public peace."
President Mugabe has repeatedly attacked the churches, in particular the Catholic Church in Zimbabwe, accusing its Archbishop Pius Ncube of taking MDC party politics to the pulpit.
Independent Catholic News
25 Sep 2002