By Muhimbise George
Last weekend, the President eased on the lockdown leaving places of worship closed subject to review after sixty days.
In my view opening up or closing any sector would have been dependant on three factors as follows;
1. The significance of the sector to the well-being of the population.
2. The amount of risk posed when such a sector opens, And
3. The possibility that if a sector is opened, it has the capacity to obey and enforce the SOPs.
So after making a clear analysis of these, the government would calculate the opportunity cost of opening such a sector as compared to to letting it remain closed.
On the ability and the will to obey and enforce SOPs, places of worship are the most organised to enforce the SOPs given that they have a recognised leadership structure which can be held accountable at any time. Government could even recommend closure of specific places of worship that disobey the SOPs.
Secondly unlike the public transport which is motivated by money a temptation that makes many to disobey SOPs, it’s not the case with the places of worship. Whereas a tax driver can not work in shifts due to competition for client’s and time limitations, places of worship can hold prayers in shifts of one or two hours.
More so places of worship operate in specific geographical locations that it is easy to divide their believers by geographical areas or locality and ask each cluster asked to pray at a given time.
Thirdly some places of worship have capacity to host many people and still observe SOPs, a cathedral like Rubaga, Namirembe , Victory church of Dr Serwada or Kibuli mosque that have the capacity to host 4000 people could be aksed to host a quarter of them, other smaller places of worship would do the same! For example you can’t compare a small a taxi having a narrow entrence to a church or mosque which is spacious enough.
The other fact that Museveni ignored is that places of worship are easy to monitor and enforce. Boda bodas, taxi drivers, saloons, etc can obey the SOPs in presence of security and break them thereafter but places of worship are always stationed in one place and can be easily monitored, it’s even possible to deploy compliance officers or security whose allowances would be paid by those religious beliefs.
So from this analysis it is clear that government did not have opening places of worship as an option.
The idea that people pray on-line is untenable, if leaners couldn’t study on-line because parents have no radios or TVs, how would the same government that failed to provide those gadgets ask people to pray on-line?
President Museveni on all speeches has argued that God is everywhere and can be worshipped any where and I think it is what guides him to deliberately refuse to open places of worship. Whereas his argument is valid, it’s not enough to justify the current closure of places of worship!
In Mathiew 18:20,the scripture says “where two or three people meet in my name, i will be amidst them”
In Hebrews 10:25, the bible says, “not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another and all the more as you see the Day approaching” These scriptures emphasise the need to congregate in presence for God.
So congregating in places of worship has a positive spiritual impact on the believers.
Gen Museveni who says or believes that it’s not important to congregate, gathered 4000 people in Kololo to attend his swearing in and tax payers money worth 700 million was spent in testing them with Covid, why didn’t he conduct his swearing in at state house in the presence of ten people and be sworn in? What were the 4000 people doing or would their absence have made his oarth unlawful?
In conclusion, Gen Museveni has always refered himself as a descendant of Bacwezi, his reluctancy to open places of worship has exposed the real Mucwezi in him, am not surprised that he could be serving his ancestors!
Muhimbise George, [email protected],0787836515
The author is a member of the Alliance For National Transformation Publicity Committee