The Rt. Rev. Joseph Eciru Oliac, the Bishop of Soroti Catholic Diocese, is considering withdrawing priests from Our Lady of Assumption Catholic Parish in Lwala in Kalaki district, citing insecurity. The Bishop is particularly enraged about the increasing cases of theft and threats directed at the clergy in Lwala Parish.
Last month, a mob killed a man identified as John Adipa for allegedly vandalising the fence of Lwala Girls to steal angle bars. Adipa’s luck ran out when the security guard made an alarm, drawing the attention of the residents. It’s also reported that unknown assailants have been breaking into the convent to steal property belonging to the priests.
In June, an unidentified person stole a laptop belonging to the parish priest, Fr. Deogratius Tembo Okonye. However, when one of the suspects was arrested and paraded to court, it is alleged that his family issued threats to the clerics, prompting Fr. Okonye to abandon the parish in protest.
Speaking to hundreds of Christians who gathered to celebrate Our Lady of Assumption Catholic Parish-Lwala Day, Bishop Eciru said that he would withdraw priests from the parish should the insecurity continue.
Samuel Okello, the Kalaki LC V Chairperson, told the Bishop that the district security team had taken up the matter and resolved to establish a police post in the parish premises to tackle the cases of insecurity. Okello said that money has been set aside to build an office and living space for the police post in Lwala, and that construction has already begun.
Edinson Muhangi, the Kalaki District Police Commander, says that police have commenced investigations into the matter. He revealed that so far, one suspect, Emmanuel Ebamu, has been arrested and paraded to court over the theft of the priest’s laptop.
Dr. Clement Kenneth Ongalo Obote, the Kalaki county Member of Parliament who doubles as the Minister of State for Teso Affairs, pledged to install Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras on the parish premises to eliminate wrong elements.